Saturday, 17 February 2018

Pebble collagraph experiments

After last weeks experiments with monoprint and mixed media exploring shape and tone I decided I wanted to look at tonal qualities in the pebbles a little more. Collagraph printing is perfect for this. I keep a box of textured materials to use for making collagraph plates some manmade, some organic and had fun speading out all the odds and ends and adhering them with acrylic medium to pebble shaped mountboard to make plates and using the same medium as a top layer to varnish.

Below are the plates with a key to what I used and a couple of the first test sheets that I printed up.

Collagraph plates and experiments with a key to materials used   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

My favourites from this collection are the rough sandpaper and the dried outer leaves of the sweetcorn husk - I really can't remember how I aquired that but will have to source some more the texture printed beautifully the more it was inked up.

Collagraph experiment samples with added mixed media   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Once dry I worked into some of the samples with watercolour, inks and pencils. More ideas started to flow as I began photographing with actual pebbles and background papers (these form part of my digital sketchbook).

In the bottom of my textured materials box I found an old plate that I had made but had never printed. I had been thinking about edges and rockpools and the flotsom and jetsom left behind by the tide. It seemed to be resurfacing just at the right time - perfect for this project - so I inked it up and took a few prints just to see what it was like. It had been made with various handmade papers, string, tin foil, the netting from a bag of fruit and a bit of sand for good measure.

Collagraph plate (detail)  ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

The plate on the left and the first proof print on the right   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

The tinfoil pebble shapes left no impression or variation in ink tone but the textures from the netting and string worked beautifully as did the texture from some of the handmade paper. You can see the cardboard from the base plate had, in a previous life, been the cover of an old sketchbook and I had left the holes from the ring binding in. I quite like the contrast of the regular pattern with the organic shapes made by the other materials. The netting I think worked the best, the holes undulating as sections were stretched and contracted when the plate was made. They look like very delicate dip pen and ink marks.

Once these were dry I worked back into one with watercolour and added collage pebble shapes cut from some of the samples made earlier. (You can see the lovely texture made by that sweetcorn leaf second pebble down.)  I seem to be obsessing with spilling out of the frame at the moment and layering.... This test piece is something I think I will be developing further - time to ponder.....

The Pebble Project    collagraph, collage and mixed media test piece   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

A lucky find

Sometimes things just jump out at you when you walk along the beach.....Happy Valentines.

Pebbles found on the shore   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec
Pebbles found on the shore   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Pebble experiments with monoprint and mixed media

The visual research and experimentation is always a very enjoyable aspect of a new project. I relish the chance to explore ideas and play with techniques and materials without any preconceived ideas of the results. It is something that I want to do a lot more of this year.

Three pebble monoprints with mixed media experiments in three stages ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

To develop further this pebble project I began with three monoprints as shown in the top row above;

The first one on the left made by inking a plate and adding two masks and a third mask inked in a deeper tone.

The central print was made by running the same plate without any further additions of ink or masks - this is called a ghost print and just utilises any ink not removed from the plate on the first run through the press.

The third print shown on the right is the same print with no ink added but the masks were removed leaving behind an inky line made when ink caught on the edges of the paper masks.

cut outs from monoprints for collage... ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

From other monoprints I cut more pebble shapes (I also had the original masks that I had kept) these all had lovely variations in textures and tones to further add to the mix. I started placing them within the three compositions, also leaving a shape escaping the confines of the border. Balance and contrast in tones and scale were my main focus here and when the arrangement felt right I adhered them in. This is the stage in the middle row.

In the third stage, on the bottom row, I added more shapes, tone and line by drawing into the compositions. As I worked I was reminded of visits I have made to draw in the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden at St.Ives. I must go back again soon. It is well worth a visit if you are down that way, the garden in beautiful and a great setting to see her work in.

Seaworn I   monoprint and mixed media 17x23cm    ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Seaworn II   monoprint and mixed media 17x23cm    ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Seaworn III   monoprint and mixed media 17x23cm    ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Reproduction prints of the set of three are available in the Pebble Project section on RedBubble.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A pebble repeat pattern

Pebble study in watercolour   21x15cm approx   ©LisaLeQuelenec2017

I love the markings on this pebble so much and just had to continue playing with it for a while. I thought it had the makings of a good repeat pattern.

Pebble repeat I   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

After scanning and editing in photoshop I experimented with different layouts and combinations finally settling on this motif.
I like the graphic qualities of it and so decided to convert it to black and white.

I have added it to my RedBubble collection where it is available on a number of products which you can see here.

A few of the products that the pattern is available on via RedBubble   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Hag stones - watercolour and collage

Hag stone sketch ©2017LisaLeQuelenec

Hag stones - stones with naturally occuring holes - are plentiful on the local beaches. Traditional folklore states that they are protection from witchcraft, can protect against disease and by looking through the hole you can see the fairy folk. Dorset fishermen used to tie them onto their boats for luck. I'm not so sure about that but I do find the spaces fascinating and when drawing them I am not sure if I am drawing the stone or the spaces inbetween. This little nugget was a sketch from the summer probably made in a couple of minutes and then forgotten about just as quickly. Until now....

 I started by cutting shapes from pre-painted and printed papers looking from patterns, marks and textures similar to the stones that I have collected. Then I began to play with arranging them on a plain white backing. Four little stacks resulted that are giving me lots of ideas for further work.

Four Pebble collages   approx 20x5cm mixed media   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Monday, 22 January 2018

Pebbles - watercolour studies

Pebble studies in watercolour   21x15cm approx   ©LisaLeQuelenec2017

There is something very comforting about a pebble warmed by the sun and held in the hand. I seem to collect pockets full of pebbles from all the different places I visit; picked for their colour, texture, pattern or weight. Quite often holding particular pebbles can transport me back to the landscape from where it came. Some of them appear to depict complete little landscapes within their markings. I have a bowl of them on my drawing table along with all the other bits and bobs picked up on my walks. The above watercolour studies are a few favourites recently gathered locally. The one below reminded me of an early O'Keefe watercolour.

Pebble study in watercolour   21x15cm approx   ©LisaLeQuelenec2017

I think I feel a new project coming on.....

Thursday, 11 January 2018


Winter - A/P    blind embossed collagraph 12x20cm   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec  
Winter continues with it's dark, cold and damp here on the south coast. It may not be the best light for painting but work continues with printmaking, sketching and planning for this lovely fresh new year.

In December I had made a collagraph plate of a lone winter tree the first print of which I used for my Christmas card. Well I have made a further three prints from this plate and one blind print (a print with no ink that just shows as an embossed image). It is a technique which I rather like especially mounted and framed completely white on white - very crisp and pure.

All three are available at Seaside Studios Uk on Etsy.

  Winter - 1/3          collagraph print        12x20cm   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

A digitally manipulated version of this image is available as reproduction prints and cards on my RedBubble site

Winter tree moon II  reproduction print   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Heavy weather sketchbook pages & Seasons Greetings

Heavy weather sketchbook pages   ©2017LisaLeQuelenec

Well what a storm! We got off lightly in last nights Storm Caroline on the south coast but it was very wet and a bit blowy still this morning. Wild weather is always an inspiration for me. I think some more drypoints perhaps? A few drawings to start from a while back in my sketchbook as a starting point and I will see where this takes me.

Now the rain is passing the temperatures here are set to drop with the possibility of the rain turning to wintery showers....could we really get some snow here down south? It would be nice for Twinkletoes as he hasn't seen any of the white stuff yet. In anticipation I will sign off for the holidays with this ....

Winter   collograph with digital drawing   ©2017LisaLeQuelenec

Wishing you all a happy holidays & my very best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

See you next year.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Back to the drawing board...gull sketchbook pages

When in doubt go back to basics.... something that has helped me many times over the years. The act of drawing with no end in mind can help me push a project through, consolidate ideas or suggest new avenues to explore. I think what these sketches are telling me and the recent experiments and prints is that I need to step away for a while and stop thinking about it. Then later, there will be time to re-evaluate and percolate the ideas. I think I will spend some more time re-reading the poem that was the original inspiration as well. For now the gulls can rest as I begin the wind down to the holidays and the exciting job of planning for next years adventures.

Gull sketchbook pages  ©2017LisaLeQuelenec

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A medley of work from the last few weeks....

A medley of work from the last few weeks ©2017LisaLeQuelenec

A virus has been keeping me away from work so I haven't progressed as far as I had hoped to with the gulls. I thought I would share a collection of some of the work that has been going on in the background whilst the gull experiments have been going on - all these pieces are available at SeasideStudiosUK

I'm not sure why a ball of just looked like it needed to be drawn and one thing led to another...

String   drypoint 8.5x15cm   ©2017LisaLeQuelenec