Tag Archives: mono print

Colour hue and saturation

I’ve been playing with colour lately, experimenting with changing the levels of colour saturation. I started with this simple print that I did some time ago. The background is khadi paper which firstly had a layer of gesso rolled over one half. It was then coloured with turquoise Procion dye, and some areas had a hint of black added to the turquoise. On top of that is a simple mono-print in turquoise acrylic paint with white or black added, on an orange and turquoise background. What I was experimenting with in this piece was seeing how colours recede or move forward depending on contrasts in their position on the colour wheel and the degree of colour saturation. I’ve often admired the subtlety of other peoples work when they use delicate and complex colours, as I often tend to go for very bright, strongly saturated colour. So what I’m playing with at the moment is changing the level of colour saturation, and the levels of white and black mixed with the pure colour, to see how that changes the overall effect.






In these experiments, I used Gimp photo editing to alter the colour saturation in two stages, which as far as I can tell has a similar effect to adding both white and black simultaneously to paint or dye. In the pictures below I started with the original turquoise and orange print, but altered the colour balance first so that I could see the same process applied to different colour-ranges.






It starts to be apparent why the pure saturated colour-range in each of the left-hand photos doesn’t give such subtlety. Some might say vibrant or bold, others might say loud. The highly saturated colours on the left tend to be the ones that I normally choose.






Looking at the reduced-saturation ones in the middle and right-hand photos, some might say they’re subtle or delicate, others might say bland. Colour is such a personal matter, and it has such an effect on us.






These experiments with colour are a first stage in thinking about stitched textile work based on Indian designs. The photos don’t look at all Indian, I know, but I plan to use Indian motifs in the stitching and to use contrasts in hue and saturation to create the impact of the piece. The idea at the moment is to use backgrounds that have variations in colour hue and saturation, with stitching that contrasts with those. In theory I may be able to create the effect of stitched areas that recede and advance depending on the background. Watch this space, as they say.




Knitting and Stitching Show, Part the Second: Gelliping with Hilary Beattie

I enjoyed a wonderful day of ‘gelliping’ with Hilary Beattie at the Knit and Stitch show. Unusually for the Knit and Stitch show it was a whole-day workshop rather than a ‘taster’ session, which meant there was time to play and experiment. I was inspired to go on a workshop with Hilary when I read about her teaching on Sam Packer’s blog catch a crumpsey. It is lovely to go on a course with a tutor who is so passionate about teaching, and I found the day very inspiring.

I’ve been wondering what the latest craze with gelli plate printing is all about. How is it different from ‘normal’ mono-printing using age-old surfaces like plastic or glass? Well now I know the answer – you can do all the same things that you do on a glass plate, but there are some extras. The biggest difference, I think, is that unlike printing from something firm, gelli plates will take an ‘impression’ of an item you use as a resist. After inking up the gelli plate and placing a ‘resist’ on it (like a leaf for example) the first print you take from it forms a negative print where the leaf appears as a ‘void’. So far that’s the same as a glass plate. But the difference is in the second print you take from it. The leaf gets pressed into the gelli; when you remove the leaf and take a second print from what’s left, you end up with the positive print of the leaf, with the tiny details like veins all showing. That’s a rather muddled explanation, so I recommend Hilary’s new book that has just come out, which makes it all clear through examples.DSCN4978

Or you can use the gelli plate just like a normal mono-print surface, like these that I did by printing several layers of colour and pattern. With these ones I was trying to create an impression of depth by over-printing with light and dark, or matt and shiny.







Here are a few prints put out to dry (below) that were done by the rest of the class. I would really recommend a course with Hilary – she’s like a human whirlwind, good fun, very spontaneous and not at all precious about art. What a great day. And no, I really didn’t have time for a course as I should really have been packing for the move, but it was good to escape from the sea of boxes for a while. Wonderful displacement activity.