New tree

There’s an amazing tree on a lane where I live in Devon. It arches over the road and fills the sky. I wanted to portray it, but not on its own as I usually do, so I’ve put it in its landscape.

I drew straight on to the plate, which is a piece of smooth vinyl flooring, using soft pencils and a little white pen for highlights. The image below is in black and white – the plate is actually blue, as you’ll see if you scroll down.

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I thought I’d cut the tree out as a silhouette, then if the rest of it went wrong, I could perhaps trim the plate and save the tree to print on its own.

I also thought I’d try using some wood engraving tools alongside the usual wood-cutting ones, so I could add texture and some greys on the fields and hedge, so it would work as a black and white print, but I might also add colour somehow at a later stage.

Anyway, the cutting has taken a week – pretty quick for me.

From this:

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To this:

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I wasn’t convinced the fine texture on the fields created with the wood engraving tool, would actually print, as it could hold too much ink and just turn out blobby. The pic above doesn’t show the final version, as I also cut texture into the road and the hedge.

After lots of fiddling and problems, the print looks like this:

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Still more fiddling to do, e.g. on tree and a bit on the hedge and fields, but I’m pleased, as it’s exciting to have some success with the wood engraving tools adding texture and greys.

Drawing to print

I’ve turned another drawing into a print, this time I’m more pleased with the result, which is a bit of a colourfest for me.

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I started with the drawing above and did four layers of colour, each a blended roll from light to darker at the front.

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I also tried to use cooler colours blues and purples in the distance and warmer yellows, oranges and browns in the foreground. I’ve missed the second step out. The third is below.

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And here is the fourth and last.

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It’s a bit odd-looking, and I’m not so happy with the blobby cutting in the trees, but overall I’m enjoying the oddness.