While everyone was producing really nice works, I did very bad in the fourth session. The artist we looked at was Matisse and some beautiful prints with a simple white line on pure black ground.
The major difficulty for me was that I was always terrible at work that veers toward graphic as opposed to painterly I am not gifted with an ability for synthesising, as you might understand from my verbose posts !)
I can probably manage line when it is accompanied by tone, but line on it's own I find it difficult and I get very frustrated. On top of this we were working with a white line on black: now, for me white signifies light, so my tendency was to use the line to pick out the lights. What I should have done though was using the line as contour, so to mark the darks with a white line as well.
I always see in terms of darks and lights, this was an impossible situation for me, and I threw a tantrum on the plate and started scribbling furiously all over.
I basically scribbled until the morning was over, the only good element I got from this exercise was experimenting with the initial inking of the plate. In this larger plate ( right) I only lightly inked the sides of the plate so that I could have some texture and shades of gray as a background of my line.
In the afternoon we worked on a double plate again but what really cheered me up was that I managed to produce some prints at home !
I pulled out of the cupboard my small old etching press: a bit dusty and rusty after fifteen years of oblivion a but still working !
I worked on a copper plate ( I learnt they are more delicate than zinc but because they are polished the surface is more slippery so ink application is smoother ) and these are my first efforts. The first and second ones are from Muybridge photos, the third and fourth ones are form drawings of Pontormo and Rembrandt.
Next week, colours !