#StudioStory – January
What’s new in the World? These days it is really easy to find out – everything what can be called trendy has been reduced to a hashtag. For e.g. the latest trend in Art world is #sketchjanuary. (Do have a look on Twitter or Instagram, you might find this very inspiring – hundreds of artists and even more subjects, various mediums and unique styles.) I’m not sure I like sketching (although I know I should do this more often), so I’m taking a different path – instead of following the crowd, I’m starting my own hashtag trend – #studiostory.
There’ll be 12 short stories this year. Once a month I will show you the ideas I’m working on at the moment (hopefully this sentence will guarantee I don’t get too lazy and stop working on my art projects…). If you’d like to join me and show what’s going on in your studio, please do, this would make me really happy! Just don’t forget to add the hashtag.
Right… while everyone’s sketching, I am making prints. I must have showed you this technique before. Nothing complicated and you don’t even need a printer’s press!
Just draw anything that comes to your mind on a piece of Styrofoam (draw lightly – trace some lines and don’t apply any pressure) and try to figure out what parts of your drawing you’d like to appear black and which should be white. I must admit that’s the tricky bit as you have to think the other way round – if you draw pressing your pen into the foam you’ll get a white in your final print. Practise makes perfect, so the more you do this, the easier it will get.
Anyway… as you can see my inspiration came from a magazine, where I saw hmm… a cornflower? Not the easiest, i.e. quickly recognizable, subject, but I liked it at the time and decided to give it a go.
And here’s the second step. Once you know which parts you’d like to appear white or at least a bit lighter colour, grab an ordinary pen and start drawing, this time pressing hard into the foam. Looks a bit messy, so don’t get lost.
The third step is to cover your so called matrix in paint. This is when you will get a rough idea what the end result is going to look like (just the other way round once again…). I use special paint for printing, but I think even acrylics would work. Not sure how easy it would be to apply paint evenly using an ordinary brush, so I guess the only special tool you need is a printmaker’s roller.
Roll it, roll it, roll it… (mine squeaks a lot, so everyone at home knows what I’m doing at the time) and you’ll be ready to make your print.
I suggest you make several prints and choose the best one, as all of them will come out a bit different – one might be too blurry, another one too dark etc. The secret is to enjoy the process. Simply have fun and I’m sure that sooner or later you’ll come up with something that you’ll love.
As for my cornflower… As I’ve already said before this isn’t an easy recognizable subject, so I can imagine using it as a psychological ink blot test. I bet that not more than 5% of my respondents would say it’s a flower, the rest 95% would simply be more inventive. I don’t mind. I’ve enjoyed the process.