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


Josie said...

Nice work, Lisa; I have enjoyed this article...

Judy said...

Very inspired and inspiring, Lisa! The prints are fabulous!


Beautiful textures Lisa

RH Carpenter said...

Oh, these are gorgeous!!! Love them :)

Caroline Simmill said...

Very nice work Lisa, thank you for sharing the creative process with us.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Josie, welcome and thank you.

Thank you Judy - my pockets are heavy with all the pebbles I find now ;o)

Hi Jane - it's such a fun process and I find now that I am eyeing up all sorts of random things wondering how their textures will print.

Thank you Rhonda!

Thank you Caroline I am glad you liked it. When I woke up to the news this morning I did wonder how you were doing up there. I hope you are warm.

Caroline Simmill said...

Hi Lisa, we are fine and cosy indoors. Enjoying my walks in the sun and snow and painting for the afternoon.

Emma Smith said...

Hi Lisa
What a lovely blog, thanks so much for sharing. Could I ask what ink you use to produce such lovely pebble effect?
Thanks, Emma

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Emma, thank you and welcome.

I use waterbased Caligo etching inks made by Akua and etching ink by Charbonnel. I prefer etching inks for the more transparent colours as opposed to block ink which is too opaque for me. The colours all mix beautifully for subtle variations and being waterbased are a bit more environmentally friendly with an easier clean up with no solvents.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions just ask.

Emma Smith said...

Hi Lisa

Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me. Art materials can be so expensive, so it's always great to get good advice and be pointed in the right direction! I'm a screen printer, so should you ever need any advice on that topic just let me know.


Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Pleased to be of help Emma, let me know if I can help again. I admire screen printing and all the forward planning that it takes. Do you blog or show your work online so that I can see? - I'd love to.

Emma Smith said...

No... well not yet anyway. I really must get a website together one of these days!