Thursday, 11 February 2016

Dreaming of summer sun

Summer sun   acrylic on paper 13x13cm   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

After the storms over the weekend a bright winter sun has made an appearance, I am grateful for the light. I find February the hardest month of the year - the last slog before spring and brighter, warmer days. I always dream of summer heat and walking barefoot on the sand. This little painting is the result of my wishful thinking....and a celebration for being nearly halfway through the month.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Three little watercolour feathers
Three Little Feathers   15x21cm approx each   watercolour on paper   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

More subtle and wintry greys - this time for feathers. My palette does seem to be greyed down at the moment again and I am enjoying it immensely. I love neutrals and especially colourful ones. This are mixes of Payne's grey, neutral tint, cobalt blue, yellow ochre and indigo. There is so much variation that can be achieved. These colours have been all in the skies of late but yesterday was glorious blue - cold and very windy - a good day for collecting treasures.

All three are available individually in my Etsy gallery Seasidestudiosuk

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Another storm in watercolour
Horizon shine   watercolour on paper 18x18cm   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

This very wet and wild winter has been inspiration for some more stormy watercolours. I used Arches rough paper for this one a complete change to the hot press I usually use. I liked the way I could scrub the pigment into the pits of the paper staining it and then blot off the peaks of the texture. I was trying to capture all the beautiful colours in this particular storm and the way they all sparkled. The sky at the horizon was a very warm and dirty yellow which was exquisitely set off by the turquoise sliver of sea.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Sea Urchin - solar etching
Urchin - A/P1   solar etching   21x15cm   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

Having signed up for a second term of printmaking at the Arts University Bournemouth last year I was very excited to learn that we would have the opportunity to try our hand at solar etching. This technique appeals to me as there is no acid involved and so is something safer for me to do at home whilst I have an inquisitive toddler roaming around.

Solar etching uses a light sensitive polymer coated plate to transfer an image from a clear film. The image could be a photograph or drawing photocopied onto acetate or something made directly onto a transparent sheet. I chose to work directly and so onto a piece of plastic I drew with alcohol based drawing pens making a variety of marks and building up the density to get a good variation of tone.
Urchin   drawing on acetate   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

Once this was complete the plate was first prepared using an 'aquatint' sheet ( a sheet of film that has a very, very fine and even tone, digitally print and so dotted surface). Laying the plate onto this sheet and exposing it in a lightbox meant that I would get a more subtle variation in tones from my plate when I processed my drawing. Next the drawing is placed on the lightbox with the plate on top and exposed. Moving quickly so as not to over expose the plate to too much extra light it was placed in a bath of warm water to wash off the light sensitive coating using a soft brush. (You know that the coating is fully removed when the plate no longer feels slimy to touch.) The final stage in plate preparation is to give the plate a further exposure in the lightbox to 'harden' off. Once this has been done the plate is ready to be inked up and run through the press in the same way a traditional etching plate. The plates are very strong and a fairly large edition can be achieved without loss of image quality.

(The timings of exposure vary from lightbox to lightbox but this process can also be done using direct sunlight but as the strength of light isn't as controlled the results can be harder to predict so I am told.) Roll on summer as I am seeing this process featuring again in my future. I would like to experiment with using different materials to do the drawing with for a wider variety of marks maybe chinagraph pencils, ink/paint applied with brushes.... also using photocopies of paintings and drawings perhaps?
Urchin drawing, plate and print ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

For now I am experimenting with inking up the plate and seeing what I can do with it. Different ways of manipulating the ink on the plate are giving exciting results. The centre print was inked up using a roller as if it was a relief block.

Urchin A/P 2,3&4 solar etching   21x15cm   ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Sketchbook pages...

Inbetween printing and working on a commission I have been working away in my sketchbooks squirreling away ideas and inspiration for later projects. Sometimes pages are just recordings of little things that have caught my attention - like the daffodils flowering during the first week of January! I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened before but we have had a very mild winter so far. A walk on the beach at Southbourne was very fruitful for ideas. The light was very dramatic as heavy showers started to roll in and the energetic tides were throwing up all sorts of treasures like these mermaid purses (a much more romantic name than fish egg case) some were smooth as silk others furry like animal skin in colours ranging from black to pale olive. Anyway here are a couple of pages...
Mermaid Purses sketchbook page ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec
Daffodils for New Year!  sketchbook page ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

Friday, 8 January 2016

Ammonite etching - three artist proofs

A very happy new year to you. I'm not sure where December went but it did and very fast!
Ammonites  3 etching proofs (centre one with prepainted tissue paper chine colle)   plate size 6x8cm ©2016Lisa Le Quelenec

The above are my very modest beginnings to the new year. Three little etchings, the first proofs from a small zinc etching plate. Ammonites fascinate me and felt like a natural progression after working with chambered nautilus' - maybe spirals are becoming a new theme for me. I certainly enjoy the challenge of drawing them. Being a stone's throw away from the Jurassic coast I am certainly in the right area. The starting point for this plate was a half inch sized ammonite found at Lyme Regis, the whole perfect form lay waiting to be picked up, perfectly intact after a mind-blowing 240 - 65 million years ago.

All three are available in my Etsy store.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Shining star

A last post before the big day is upon us. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone for all your comments and support throughout the year it means so much to know that people take the time to visit this little spot on the internet.
Star sketch ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

To all those who celebrate a very happy holidays and to everyone a very happy, healthy and peaceful 2016.
May the stars shine bright for you.

Best wishes.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Low tide experiments with inking drypoints

Low Tide   drypoint 3.5x15.8cm   ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

I had a tiny snippet of perspex left over from cutting down another plate and not being one to waste anything I thought I would use it for an experiment. I have come to the conclusion that the skill in printmaking very much lies in the skill of inking up the plate. It's quite a thing to learn - how much ink to apply, how much to wipe off, where to polish and where not to, colours behave very differently to the paint that I am used to and the consistency is a million miles away from acrylic and watercolour - beautiful sticky stuff that it is...

I digress, this little piece of acrylic with a simple design scratched in has been a test piece to practise with. The print on the right has some added marks in the plate where I wanted to add a little more tone but I am finding it interesting to see how the plate develops each time I print it and get braver and more experimental with the inking. These have been done over a series of a few weeks and as I have the time and inclination I will print a few more.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Feather studies and drypoint experiments
Feather I   proof drypoint   15x8cm ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

Feathers I is a drypoint made using an aluminum plate. In the grey version I used a roller to get a very thin layer of ink as a background after wiping the plate and then added more ink and took away more ink with a brush in areas of the feather. This was the first time that I had tried this technique and I rather liked the subtle effect. In the sepia version below I tried to vary the amount of ink along the feather to get a greater variation in tone just by wiping alone.
Feather I   proof drypoint   15x8cm ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec
Feather sketches pencil a4 ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec
Feather sketches pencil a4 ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

The drypoint below was made using a perspex plate which I printed onto handmade paper that had leaves within it. As the paper was so fine I didn't soak the paper this meant that the paper wasn't supple enough to get a good stand alone print from the burr as it went through the press, especially where the the thicker bits of leaves were. However it was enough to use as a base for a mixed media piece and a worthwhile experiment. It's certainly giving me food for thought and sparking some new ideas for the future.
Feathers  drypoint and mixed media on handmade paper   15x20cm   ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Heavy weather in drypoint
Heavy Weather   drypoint 7.5x7.5cm   ©2015Lisa Le Quelenec

We have been having a lot of heavy weather just lately mixed up with plain grey skies so the half hour break of blue sky and sunshine today was most welcome. As I type we are back to plain old grey....