Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Creative drought over!

Before Christmas, I was scrabbling to get jobs finished from the 'day' job and trying to finish an engraving that I'd promised for a friend as a present for a family member. After Christmas I was trying to hit the deadlines for another few jobs that had been rescheduled or altered and messed up my schedules. It was pretty chaotic and exhausting and I ended up being rather dissatisfied with the engraving that I was having to find time for in odd moments. That's the trouble with rushing. Here it is:

It's not defined enough, I could do better and I feel I need to get some defining highlights into the faces and the ball. I shall have a play....and when I am happy I shall have to give my friend the option of swapping her print for a modified one.

Meanwhile, a couple of illustration jobs were supposed to start this week but have been delayed. So I find myself with a few days free, and I have decided to design my next block. This time I'm doing a detailed sketch on the computer to size, trying out ways of interpreting different areas in ways that please me. Working on the computer gives me the option of altering, resizing and testing textures out without all the tedious redrawing that working on paper would entail.

The subject is taken from a holiday sketch I made a couple of years ago, of a pretty young coloured girl, who having just come out of the sea is sitting in a towel on an old concrete tank trap and watching the surfing while the sun dries her out.
Above is a scan of the original sketch and below, my idea translated ready for a woodblock. The piece of pear wood I have is old, some stock I bought back in the 80's, and quite large for me...71/2" x 5" approx.

I find I'm still looking for a 'style' or my way of interpreting subjects into engraving, rather than copying someone else's style because I like it. This drawing is very similar to how I draw and it's going to be a bit of a challenge technically to cut some of those small swirls...but definitely worth a try.


d. moll, l.ac. said...

I see you've got your Etsy shop going too! New print looks lovely.

Magpie Magic said...

I love the sketch for the new engraving. It looks great. It has real atmosphere and the feeling of 'watching' is really strong. I hope you get it all done how you want it. It's definitely worth it! :-)

natural attrill said...

I love the b+w sketch, really striking, cant wait to see how it turns out as an engraving.

Gordon Fraser said...

Beautiful work as ever Auntie Sue! I adore the painting of the lady in the towel!

Hope you feel all betterer soon!

Lynne Chapman said...

Really lovely. It's extraordinary how different the piece looks in the black and white engraving style. I thought it was actually an engraving until I read the text.

I;ve never tried engraving - do you always do such a detailed 'rough' before starting to cut?

Sue said...

Thanks for the comments, folks.

Lynne: I don't always do such detailed roughs but engraving wood blocks are very expensive. I really wanted to get a feel for how I want to approach the subject before I let rip with the tools. 8-) Also as I'm still a beginner, I'm still playing with style...trying to get something that's 'mine'.

Caroline B said...

That's going to be another lovely one - the water is so beautifully done.

Rob Carey said...

this turned out very well- excellent.

muddy red shoes said...

ooh that is lovely sue, isnt it important to do some real work among all the rest! Keeps you sane, these are lovely

Alina Chau said...

beautiful illos!