Friday 31 December 2010

Finished drawing

I finished the drawing late last night using a touch of gouache and acrylic ink to bring back the lights. I need to remember next time just how intense the inktense pencils are and to hold back a little to keep the lighter tones.

Taking a tiny object, in this case approximately 4cm high and drawing it much larger isn't new to me. I painted huge panels of parts of tiny shells during my degree, getting lost in the structure, pattern, texture and colours but I had forgotten how enjoyable it was.

Just for fun after photographing the drawing I cropped and manipulated the colour and contrasts on the computer. I like the way the scratchy marks pixalate.

Wishing you all a happy new year.

Thursday 30 December 2010

Back to work


What a lovely Christmas break! (made even better by clear roads for travelling - no more snow) One of my best moments was having a cuddle with my nephew whilst watching a film - he's eight, so I'm not sure how much longer he'll want to be cuddling his aunty.

So now back to work.... I'm still playing with the inktense pencils. I drew this pine cone that I picked up on one of my walks in an A3 sketchbook. I thought I'd show a shot from before the water was added so that you can see how much more vibrant the colour becomes. I'll work back into it to claim back some highlights as some areas got a little bit too dark and some of the form was lost.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Durdle Door Snow

Wishing you a very merry Christmas
and a prosperous and happy 2011

with all my love
Lisa x

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Softly Swaying I
15x15cm acrylic on canvas
©2010 Lisa Le Quelenec

Softly Swaying II
15x15cm acrylic on canvas
©2010 Lisa Le Quelenec

I have enjoyed painting these sooooo much! My aim was to get a sense of the flower heads gently swaying in a breeze by using gentle diagonals in the stems and seed heads. Can you sense the movement?

I'm glad I did lots of sketching of the poppies in my garden during the summer. I did them for drawing practise when I was taking a break from painting, I had no intention of using them for paintings back then but I'm realising now just how well spent the time was.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Polystyrene printing part 2

Once yesterdays prints had dried, a few watercolour washes later it became this.....

I had printed a couple more which became this...

and this.....

A tiny edition of three all very different while at the same time being the same. Not bad I thought for first attempts at a new technique. Have you tried it? Are there any tips you could give me?

Monday 13 December 2010

Printing with polystyrene

I've been trying out a whole new (to me) method of printing. My dear friend Morag who is a printmaker gave me some polystyrene ceiling tiles and explained how to use them as a plate for printing. I'd heard of this before but had never gotten around to having a go myself. Today I had a go. First of all I did a test using watercolour just to get a handle of how the texture would print. The bottom six panels of the sheet are from one inking and the textures brought to mind the white water patterns made by waves.

I drew into the polystyrene with a pencil, indenting the surface and made some linear wave shapes. Using acrylic indigo paint mixed with a little screen print medium to give a longer working time and thin out the pigment whilst keeping a sticky consistency I inked up for another trial print. This is on the top left.

Hmmmmmm.... I thought this is looking interesting so I cut another piece of tile and rather than drawing across the surface I just pushed the pencil into it. It was good fun in a bubblewrap kind of popping way until I got a little impatient and started getting heavier handed and kind of carved into the tile. If you try this at home BE WARNED have the hoover on hand to catch all the little bits of polystyrene that will fly everywhere, don't wear clothes that may have a tendency to have static and it would be good to have someone else in the house in case the door needs answering. (I speak from experience - I had followed none of the above and I got a very strange look from the postman answering the door with polystyrene flakes stuck all over my clothes and in my hair looking like Frosty the snowman with a very sheepish grin - I saw his shoulders shaking as he walked down the road laughing. I can't say I blame him I was a bit of a mess.)

And here is the result after the embarrassing encounter with the postman.....

It might not look much now but I am planning on working back into it once it's dried.

Friday 10 December 2010

More poppy experiments...

Another poppy experiment using acrylic ink, watercolour and coloured pencils. The original petal shapes were made by printing acrylic ink onto watercolour paper, the result was beautiful texture in the pull of the ink. Once it was dry I added a wash of watercolour and drew in the seed heads with a brush. The dark marks on the under side of the petals were made with acrylic ink once everything had dried.

20x28cm mixed media on paper
©2010 Lisa Le Quelenec

To bring out more red in the petals I used coloured pencil slowly building it up with varied shades to get a richness of tone. I don't think you can see in the photo but in the dark blotches in the petals there is purple, royal blue and turquoise which zing against the orange and red.

I've promised myself another couple of weeks for experimenting whilst the year draws to a close on exhibition work but I think I can foresee a series of poppy paintings in the not too distant future. ;) I'm really enjoying mixing up media and the looseness and freedom that it involves.

Thursday 9 December 2010

More reflecting on the river....

Reeds and reflections from my sketchbook in both watercolour (top) and acrylic (below). The acrylic is quite richly textured which was difficult to capture in a photo.The more I experiment the more I think I could possibly be leaning to a more mixed media approach. (of course this might just be because I'm enjoying playing with different materials so much - does it count as work when it's so much fun?)
The blue flashes were a tribute to the beautiful kingfisher that I saw last month but haven't seen since. He/she brought to mind the title of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins 'As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame'. Not because of the meaning of the poem, just the mental images that it gives me. (although I do enjoy the rhythms of his work) Turquoise, copper, rusty browns are one of my favourite colour combinations.
The sun has been shining today and the temp is above freezing - yay!

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Another print experiment...

Another of my watersoluble mono prints that I've worked into, it's a bit curly here as I took the picture whilst it was drying. After spraying with fixative I gave it a coat of acrylic glaze medium to act as a barrier before painting on top. There was some re-melting of the brown pigment into the glaze but as it is an image of muddy river reflections I didn't worry too much ;) this would be a problem for other subjects and is something I will have to keep in mind. Once the barrier layer was dry I felt more confident in painting back into the print and so I added more acrylic paint, some of which was quite wet.

I think by painting into it I've made the reflections look more a part of the water rather than shapes and lines sitting on top.... I hope when you look at it you can feel the wet and cold of the water. 

 Just for fun after photographing the image I thought I'd have a tinker around with it on the computer.... I quite like these magenta/orange/violety combinations. Oh and I do like a good crop too.

It's been so much fun playing with these experiments and it's given me a lot of food for thought. I know that to anyone else they must look like strange scribblings but I think taking this time out to play has been very valuable. I must remember to do it more often.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Working into mono print experiments

On the right is the original mono print with a colour photocopy on the left that I've worked on top of with coloured pencil. I thought I would try working with the suggestion of a waterline in the print and and play with some reflected ripple patterns with the hard edged pencil building up the layers of colour.

I wanted to work back into the original mono print with watercolour and watercoloured pencil but was worried the original image would move if it was re-wetted. I wasn't sure if it would work but I sprayed the paper with a pastel fixative first and hoped for the best. It does seem to have worked as there was no visible movement as I dampened the paper. (I wonder if this would work with acrylic? Something to try next methinks...) I was having trouble getting the pencil on dark enough so out came the acrylic paint to do the lower part of the reeds. In the original mono print there were some dark spots where pigment had balled and blotted on the plate, I decided to add to this by running a sharp blade along the point of a watercolour pencil to make shavings that sprinkled and melted into the damp paper.

It will be interesting to use what I have learnt and translate the marks into acrylic when I start to work on canvas again. However that will have to be for another day as I'm due back at the Hayloft Gallery this morning.

I hope everyone in staying warm, it feels like another cold one to me.

Monday 6 December 2010

Mono printing river experiments

Whilst it's been cold and grey I've been working on my river project and I just thought you might be interested in seeing some experiments I've been doing with mono printing. Something I feel has been lacking in my work of late is the element of mark making and textures. It is the 'thing' that has attracted me most to the river. Juxtapositions of organic reflection shapes with the lines of reeds and all the very different textures of foliage are so different to the sea/beach/cloudscapes that I've done. - A change of scene can be very exciting...

I used a plate of perspex and drew onto it with watersoluble crayons, I used Neocolor II made by caran d'ache as well Derwent Aquatone. They are softer than some of the other brands and sit well on the plastic. Some colours will go on easier that others depending on the pigment but most will be fine with a little pressure. For the first experiment I wanted to concentrate on the vertical reeds and and the horizontals made by the ripples on the water.

The next step was to dampen the paper, it needs to be damp enough to activate the pigments but not so damp that the water pools and runs turning the print into a blended slush of colour. Once the paper was damp it could be laid out on top of the drawing. I added a hinge of masking tape at the top at this stage fixing the paper onto the perspex in case I wanted to work back into the plate. I applied quite a bit of pressure to the back of the paper.

Now for the exciting bit, I carefully peeled away the paper from the plate. The water looked a little too pale for my liking and there were a couple of bands in the reeds that didn't print so well. Because of my trusty masking tape hinge this was easily rectified by working back into the plate with more crayon and very gently laying some extra water with a brush onto the plate to dampen the areas of reed that didn't take.

This is the final result. There are blots of pigment where it has balled up on the perspex plate and printed in clumps. Whilst this can be a bit of a pain with some subjects I quite like it in this one. Also the reeds were supposed to be looking like they start from the bottom of the paper and the way it has printed almost makes it look like they start from about a third of the way up and underneath is a poorly drawn reflection. However I think this is a good starting point for working back into with different media. It was also quite a fun technique to use as it's element of unpredictability means you can never be sure exactly what results you will get.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Snow day in Dorset


The view from my windows this morning along with some of my feathered friends who are all looking a little bewildered. It's unusual to get snow like this down here although we did have some earlier in the year. I cleared the snow and topped up the bird feeders and water as soon as I got up this morning and they've been busy getting extra calories to keep out the cold.

Back to work now for me, I'm not sure I can use the excuse of a 'snow day' when I work from home ;o)