Charmaine Watkiss

Archive for the ‘OCA Printmaking Work’ Category

It has been a while since I have posted anything to this blog – working as a freelance designer can get super hectic. I completed my OCA final assignment a couple of weeks ago, it took some time to complete because I had taken part in 2 shows and did a workshop in Italy – crazy!

Here are some images from my assignment. We had the option of exploring an abstract theme so I decided to look at the elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water. My original intention was to create a series of completely abstract prints but whilst attending an OCA study day at Tate Britain I saw a beautiful piece of sculpture by Gilbert Ledward called Monothith. I then thought what if I created a series of godesses – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

I decided to crate 2 collagraph plates and 2 linocut plates – in hindsight I probably would have created all of them with linocut and experimented more with texture created with say 2 or more colour plates for example. I don’t think they work as a series (particularly as the earth figure doesn’t seem to belong to the group) but what they have done is given me ideas for further development in the future.

This was my super quick sketch done of Monolith at the Tate

Developing ideas for the collagraph

Further ideas for development – I thought of creating a linocut plate to create a chine colle print which would combine with the collagraph

This is one of the initial prints with a gold chine colle fish

Here is another version of the print with the linocut on gampi tissue chine colle overlay

Sketches for the earth goddess….

Working on the collagraph plate

The inked up plate – quite fiddly I used small dabbers and wiped with scrim, newspaper and cotton buds

One of my prints – using a dampened lightweight hahnemuhle paper, printed with my small press – the plate was slightly too long for the press!

One of my sketches for the fire goddess

One of my prints – quite fiddly and tricky chine colle processes, the wings were bits of torn tissue, the body is gold indonesian paper, the hair – yellow indonesian tissue

Another simpler version

I think it works well on the red paper..

Sketch for the air goddess – I guess you would have realised by now that the fire and air figures are based on Birth of Venus by Botticelli

Printing on tracing paper which was used as my registration

Plate and registration side by side. I taped the registration to the underside of my glass plate so that I could paint my monoprint layer for some of my prints

This is one of my combination monoprint and linocut prints

Printed on blue indonesian tissue

Printed with silver ink and torn tissue chine colle

Printed on craft paper – not quite enough contrast, the white ink isn’t opaque enough….

Project 14 of my OCA course work was all about incorporating chine colle into my combination prints. Even though I have a small etching press I still like to hand print my lino using a baren.

I started off with this print, the chine colle didn't work so well with the japanese paper because the newspaper stretched when I pasted it, so when it dried there was shrinkage

With this one I did a monoprint on a sheet of plastic, cut the yellow background tissue to the same size as the plate, pasted the back of the tissue, placed damp paper on top and ran it through my etching press before printing the inked lino with chine colle

I decided to use this lino from a previous project and just play around with clashing colours

Chine colle again with newspaper...

I used the same process as the second print in this series - starting off with running the monoprint background through my etching press

Printing on a gold paper background, which I quite like, again starting with monoprinting on the background and running through etching press before printing the lino block

Chine colle with gold paper, the next 2 images will show how I did the bg monoprint

I used an old printing plate (ignore the egg shapes). I wanted a random pattern for the ground so I used masking tape to make the shapes

I then inked the plate with a stencil brush then carefully removed the masking tapee, I then hand printed onto the paper before printing the lino / chine colle image on top

I decided to try another idea – I was inspired by my visit to the Afghanistan exhibition at the British Museum, there was an image in a catalogue I bought at the Dogon exhibition in Paris. I made a drypoint image on clear plastic then used my etching press to make the prints.

My initial drawing

A further study

Working out how I want the gold chine colle to look

Further ideas...

The first print

Modification of the first print - I thought there was too much space around the image so I cut down the plate and I also monoprinted the background

I am close to the end of my Printmaking 1 course with the Open College of the Arts. For task 13 I had to make a series of monoprints combined with lino cuts. I tried a few ideas which didn’t work so I decided to make a series of prints based on an old sketch I did at the V&A of a Frank Dobson sculpture The Man Child. I made a few more drawings and worked out ideas for possible prints in my sketchbook then just experimented (as my last comment from my tutor said I was not experimenting enough…).

This is the initial sketch I made of the Frank Dobson sculpture in the V&A

This is an early idea I had for a print, i didn’t do it because I thought the background was too heavy

I wanted a simple background with some kind of drop shadow for the figures to sit against

Here is one of my monoprints combined with lino – this is printed on Japanese Simili paper, which is almost like a cartridge paper. I used Akua intaglio inks for the motoprint and Caligo safe wash for the black lino outline

Here is another print but using Japanese Hosho paper – the ink sits very differently on this paper

I did some drawings of a flower in pencil then did a quick watercolour sketch and thought what would it look like if I combined it with my figure…

This is the print done on the Japanese Hosho paper

I decided to just play around without doing any sketches – see what happens… also the yellow in has a bit too much oil in it…..

This is printed on craft paper

I used gold paint for this one, which doesn’t really look gold…..I also thought the colour would be fully opaque…perhaps I mixed in a bit too much extender

I am coming to the end of my 4th assignment for the Open College of the Arts – I keep lingering thinking I can do more. I went to the Nancy Spero exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery and was really inspired with her hand made prints and her use of colour. She also prints onto different colours of fine Asian papers, lovely. This inspired me to do some printing when I got home. I had bought some Asian papers myself from Atlantis in Brick Lane – I bought them for the next lot of assignments coming up which uses Chine Colle – I made a print onto one of the sheets of tissue – Lokta Paper, it weighs about 30gsm and comes in beautiful vibrant colours.

Lovely Lokta Tissue paper from Atlantis - about 90p each

One thing I was working on is a collagraph mask. I made one last year on a workshop I did in Italy – it was the firs thing I posted on this blog. I like the idea of masks, there is a lot to explore and we all wear masks in one form or another….

I drew an image from a book I bought in Paris about masks – this drawing is based on an Indonesian mask. I printed by hand and had a go printing with my press.

Original image

One of my drawings - Ink, charcoal and watercolour

Inked up plate

Hand printed on Japanese Hosho paper

Printed on Lokta paper

Printed on hahnemuhle paper by hand

Printed on my press. I prefer the back of the print to the front!

I have just completed printing the final colour of my experimental reduction linocut.

I used caligo safe wash ink in black, mixed in about 30% extender - I find it makes for easier hand printing to add a bit of extender.

I also added a couple of drops of Cobalt Drier to the ink mix, this helps to speed up drying. With my previous reduction lino I had to wait at least 1 week before I could print another colour, with this stuff it is ready to over print in a day or so. I also think that adding extender helps with drying too….

This is the Cobalt Drier I mentioned - you can get it from Intaglio printmaker, just add about 2 drops to the ink. It helps to form a skin on the printed work so that you can over print with another colour without waiting too long for the print to dry.

This is how the lino looks now that it has all been cut away.

Inked and ready to go..

I do like using polymer blocks instead of real lino because it is washable and doesn’t crack either. I have found that if the lino cutter slips I can patch up the mistake with a bit of glue!

I got myself a drying rack so that I no longer have to leave prints all over the floor to dry – it is meant for young school kids but hey it does the job!

Thanks for stopping by

: )

I have have printed another layer to my reduction lino print, this time using the dab printing technique. I wrapped fine cloth around cotton and used it to dab on some additional colour to create a bit of contour to the image. I mixed burnt sienna with extender (50 /50) and prussion blue with extender (50 /50). I am now cutting the block for the black outline.

I printed my third colour on the reduction print today. I started this edition printing the first colour using the un cut block, I wanted the background to be in light blue – I used Caligo Safewash Prussian Blue and mixed it with White – 50 /50. I then created marks on the block for the second colour. This is what I have done so far…

I drew part of the design onto the block, then created marks using an old cheese grater and a very sharp pair of scissors

This was the template I used. I secured it in place with masking tape before I started to ink up

I rolled the lino with Caligo Safewash Burnt Sienna, mixed it 50/50 with extender because I didn't want flat colour



I then carefully positioned the block into the registration board I created


Prints waiting to dry...

I then cut away the lino to create the outline shape of the folded animal form, then printed the 3rd colour.


I used Prussian blue and mixed it with extender 10% colour to 90% extender - I overlapped the image buy cutting the shape a bit larger than the template to avoid any gaps which may result in a not too perfect registration. The final design will have a black outline so SHOULD (!) cover this up!!