Drawing for screenprinting
It seems like I’ve been permanently sat at my drawing board for the last month trying to get lots of drawings done for some new screen prints. These are to add to the highly detailed urban series I started in 2014 but this time I’ve created more of the large-scale drawings rather than just the small pieces. They’re approximately 500mm wide with variable heights.
I’m really pleased with them but being bigger means that they take MUCH longer to draw – and the pressure is on not to get anything too wrong! Ho hum – I’m working my way through the Desert Island Discs back catalogue and have listened to Grayson Perry’s Reith Lectures again (which are just brilliant – I wish I was that eloquent!).
Here are some of the drawings finished and ready to be exposed onto screens ready for printing. I use the Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.05 and the Copic Multi Liner 0.03 for drawing. The Copic is the only one I have found in 0.03 and is brilliant as both nib and ink cartridge are easily replaceable (you get through a lot of nibs at this size). However, the Staedtler is my favourite – I haven’t found a better disposable pen in 0.05mm (I think I’ve tried them all!) and now buy boxes of 20 at a time.
Hot Bed Press ’20’ Exhibition
I’ve been lucky enough to be selected for the Hot Bed Press 20 Year anniversary exhibition. Held at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, the exhibition features 20 artists selected from the printmaking studio’s members and runs from now until 16th September 2014.
Four of my screenprints were chosen to be part of the exhibition, including one that I’ve just completed. In the same style as my previous urban sketch screenprints but much larger, it shows the view from the top of Shudehill Car Park (see my earlier rant about views from car parks here). As I use paper stencils to get the background colours, printing this caused all sorts of problems due to the stencil warping and stretching over such a large area. However, I didn’t want to use photo screens for all parts of the artwork as it creates a final image that’s too perfect for me.
I was really pleased with the final piece especially once framed by the lovely and helpful ‘In the Picture Framing‘, who have just opened up in Woodend Mill in Mossley, where I have my studio.
Photos from car parks
Last month, I mentioned that I’d been asked to remove myself from a car park’s top floor, after taking pictures of the (amazing) views for my urban sketching and screen printing. Consequently, I put in a request to a certain car park company to be given permission to take pictures from Manchester’s numerous car park roofs.
That permission has been refused due to a number of reasons, which were:
A. There’s too many people asking to take pictures from car park roofs
B. Its a car park, not a photography opportunity
C. You don’t want to pay for the privilege (We’d let you if you had a big budget, a load of cameras, crew, cast and an important company name).
Grrrrrrrrrr. Watch this space. Who thought taking pictures from the roof of a car park could be so anti-establishment?! I’m going to try just standing and looking and see what they say then! I also think that all the people who want to take pictures from car park roofs should get together and mass storm Manchester’s car parks in a flash mob /critical mass style gathering.
Manchester City Centre Screenprint
Drawings for screen printing
I’m going to use these drawings for a series of screenprints. I’ve started (and almost finished) the first one and after a few issues, have the next lot exposed and ready to be printed. I’m using paper stencils for the background colours, so everything is a bit ‘off’ on purpose – I didn’t want it to be perfect and consequently, end up looking like it had been Photoshopped…
I’m off to Hot Bed Press in Salford tomorrow to start on the second image – I’ll try to remember to take pictures to show each stage…
I’m also going to start on a bigger drawing of Manchester City Centre – at the same scale but to encompass more. I’ve been scouting around trying to take pictures from the tops of car parks but have so far been politely asked to remove myself from each one as I might hurt myself or something similar (?!). So remember everyone – taking a picture is MUCH more dangerous than parking your car. Seriously though – apparently I need to get permission from the owners first. I’ll let you know how I get on!
More urban sketching
Urban sketching in Manchester
In a bid to speed up my drawing (and get better at it), I tripped in to Manchester city centre today to attend my first urban sketching event.
Mass confusion ensued at Victoria train station as there was also a walking group meeting at the same place and time. I’m not entirely sure that some bemused walkers didn’t end up sketching all day and some urban sketchers wondered why not many people in their group were sketching…
A fellow Woodend Mill artist Hugh Winterbottom also agreed to come – we spent about half an hour trying to find a good spot to sketch from but eventually agreed on this view looking towards the Cathedral and Harvey Nichols down Fennel Street.
Depressingly, this is as far as I got in an hour. So much for trying to be quicker and have a freer style.
Ho hum, I’ll keep trying. I’m going to redraw this viewpoint again sitting in the relative comfort of the studio, which is against the philosophy of the ‘urban sketcher’ (drawing on location and not from photographs – I suspect this will be easier in the warmer weather!).
I left early (cos I’m soft) so didn’t get a look at everyone’s sketches (you all get together at the end to compare drawings) but I’m sure some pictures will be available on the Manchester Urban Sketchers’ Facebook page soon, which is here.
Another quick sketch I did whilst waiting for train…
Hyde Park Community Orchard Artwork – installation
Just before the build fortnight on the RHS Tatton show garden, I had 10 days in the rain (plus one dry day) installing artwork in the Hyde Park Community Orchard. Not ideal weather for installing a mosaic which is mounted on paper but we soldiered on and (almost) got everything finished.
First job was a dry fit of the classroom floor mosaic to check it all fitted together onto the 3m concrete base. The mosaic was separated into 27 sections, so it took a bit of work to make sure it all went together as it should.
Laying out the mosaic and cast stone ‘apple pip’ inserts for the Wildlife Discovery Trail sculptures…
We got the mosaic wording in on a dry Sunday with the help of Des…
But at one point we had two gazebos and three tarpaulins over the mosaic and they still weren’t enough to keep the rain out.
Richard Dawson was also installing his oak benches and banquet table at the same time. These were the holes for the foundations of the banquet table to sit in. There’s about a foot of water in them here… another couple of hours and they were full.
Still smiling… or is that grimacing?
Next Hyde Park Community Orchard post – the finished artwork!