Friday, 18 July 2014

'The Deep' exhibition

Puck Collective have our first publication out very soon titled Puck Collected Issue 01: The Deep featuring all forty members.  We’re so excited about it and hope to see you at Beach gallery in London on Thursday 21st August for the launch party where you can get a free copy and some free beer as well. 

I'll reveal my piece very soon.  Also you may have noticed I'm blogging less regularly these days due to a combination of increased workloads and also I tend to use twitter/instagram/tumblr a lot more so if you want to keep up-to-date with my illustration projects follow me on those!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Etching course

Last night was my final evening class at the Prince's Drawing School where I've been learning some basic etching techniques.  I've been a bit torn about sharing these as I don't think they're very good but if I blog about them at least I've got some form of documentation to refer back to when I next get to do some more.

In the first session we were introduced to the studio by the brilliant Thomas Gosebruch; an artist, sculptor and printmaker and our teacher for ten weeks.  First up drypoint etching on copper plate.  We were encouraged to do a self portrait and the copper plate acted as an abstracted mirror image to enable this.  Half an hour of gouging away at my face and I had a plate ready to ink and print.

It's surprisingly accurate - I've managed to capture my huge pasty like face - I don't like it but there's a passing resemblance.  I tried to redo one of the eyes by flattening out the copper and reworking it but I didn't have time to make a print of the updated plate.  It was good to get a feel for the inking and printing parts of the process but I found drypoint difficult.  There's a primal satisfaction in gouging away at the copper but it's tricky to control and the copper can be resistant to certain movements. 

The second week we had a go at soft groud printing which is a super delicate form of etching.  I was intimidated by just how delicate the mark making process is; you can use just about anything to make a mark as it all shows up.  I used a small bit of aluminium and etched a small knife onto it inspired as always by all things horror.

By the third week we moved onto hard ground etching which is more in keeping with what I had in mind when I began the course.  I decided to draw something based on a sketch I'd made of a Dorothy Iannone piece I saw at her exhibition in Berlin based on her favourite joke and featuring suspended tortoises.  This piece ended up running over several weeks whilst I learnt various basic techniques of acid biting/timings, inking up a plate, tidying plate edges etc.  Here's the aluminium plate.

And here's my favourite print - it's not actually the final print - Thomas is a wonderful teacher but he had different ideas of how my illustrations should look.  It's been a long time since someone has told me to change my drawings but I tried his ideas and in both instances I preferred my original attempts.  With the tortoises he felt there needed to be more depth under the nearest tortoise's shell so I added some additional drypoint detail only to find I'd lost my nice uniform lines. Granted there was more depth but it became a little incoherent in the process.  He also suggested I refine and clean up the edges more but in this instance I quite like the frame; must be my comic book leanings...

I actually quite like this print.  It's a little bit noisy with unwanted marks/acid biting (Thomas suggested the rear tortoise was vomiting!) but I like the composition and line work.  I also really warmed to hard ground and decided to stick with hard ground for the remaining weeks of the course.  We learnt other techniques but I tend to forget processes very quickly so thought I'd be better off nailing one rather than doing a lot and not remembering anything.

My final print was based on an illustration from a forthcoming screenprint.  Again it's a hard ground etching and I think the acid may have bitten a little too much in places - I've lost some detail along the way - Thomas is all about optimum acid-biting!  Here's the final plate with some additional drypoint work.

And here's my favourite print.  Thomas felt the gaps between limbs and the body were a little bit odd and suggested I filled them in.  I tried it but it became a little messy.  It was a concious decision to have the body parts separated but I think he felt it was technically inaccurate whereas I was trying to achieve something more graphical (?) rather than an actual rendering of a wolf.


It's a little heavy in terms of ink but I'm sort of happy with it.

I can't wait to do another course so if I can get some money together I'll be back in September for the Autumn course with Thomas.  I'll probably stick to hard ground again as well despite his best efforts to push me into more experimental etching techniques!  

Thursday, 19 June 2014

'Fight the Good Fight' print

My 'Fight the Good Fight' reduction linocut print from this years Pick Me Up exhibition is available now in my shop. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

'Dreaming of that Big Old Bear' limited edition giclée print

I've reworked this illustration from my giant spirit bears series for a limited edition print and it's available now in my shop here

'Fantastical tales of the big old colourful bear spirits have been told to so many children for so many generations that they can't help but dream about them as they sleep peacefully in their beds. But are they dreaming...?'

Thursday, 22 May 2014

ASOS/Lynx collaboration

Earlier this year Puck Collective were invited to illustrate designs inspired by 'peace' for a new range of t-shirts for an ASOS/Lynx/Protein collaboration.  I decided to rework the Chinese symbol for Ying and Yang by making the two sides into Studio Ghibli/Adventure Time creatures.  The t-shirts are available now to buy here and you can also watch a short film of me and the other designers and illustrators (including Puck's very own Ruby Taylor) being interviewed about our inspiration.  Watch it here.  Lot's of studio pics too. 

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

'A Call to Arms' linocut print

'A Call to Arms' is a reduction linocut print I made for this years Pick Me Up exhibition and it's available now in my shop.  I had a grand plan to do a new linocut print every fortnight but that's fallen by the wayside.  In fact I barely made it into February due to other commitments but instead I've been experimenting with printing techniques and this was one of my first successful reduction prints (also known as suicide prints although I think that might be a bit melodramatic...).  

Buy the print here.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Inpress Commission

I was recently asked by Inpress Books to illustrate a poem by Melissa Lee-Houghton taken from her collection 'Beautiful Girls'.  I had the choice of anything in the book and ended up going for 'Blowjob'; feel free to insert your joke of choice here.  The illustration will feature on a range of promotional postcards.  You should all go and buy 'Beautiful Girls' as well.