Ashdown Forest: High horizon

28 April 2011

A hard climb to the high horizon.

Ashdown Forest 8

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

More solarplate etching: Lhasa, Tibet

27 April 2011

After I saw how much detail the solarplate etching technique picked up from photographs, I wanted to find out whether it work as well with my drawings.

I chose two drawings out of my sketchbook from Tibet, created a transparency, and then etched it onto the photopolymer plate.

Lhasa. Solarplate etching, A4. Click for bigger version.

Again, the plate has picked up every detail of the original image. The top drawing, of Barkhor Square, was drawn in pen and ink; the bottom one, of the Jokhang temple, was in pen and ink, with watercolour washes. All the lines and tones are there.

I then printed the plate again in dark blue and red.

Lhasa. Solarplate etching, A4, second version. Click for bigger version.

My plan had been to cut the plate to create two etchings, but I think I prefer the two images together.

It's difficult to clean the solarplates when inking them, so there's quite a bit of plate tone left. (If anyone knows how to get the white areas whiter, please let me know!)

Ashdown Forest: Late summer rain

26 April 2011

Late summer rain threatens to spoil the afternoon.

Ashdown Forest 7

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Exhibition panoramas

25 April 2011

Panoramas of the London Road Group exhibition at the Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre.

More information about the exhibition:

Solarplate etching: Paseo del Prado, Havana

24 April 2011

Because I had nothing better to do last week, I went on a course at the Ink Spot Press in Brighton to learn solarplate (photopolymer) etching.

Unlike tradition etching, photopolymer etching uses no acid, no wax, and no sticky smelly stopout varnish; produces no fumes and no dust; and doesn't turn your hands yellow. In short, it's safe.

The plate is etched by projecting ultraviolet light through a transparency of your design onto a polymer-coated aluminium plate. The light hardens the exposed polymer; you wash the plate in water, removing the soft parts, and revealing the etched lines. You then print the plate in exactly the same way as a traditionally etched plate.

Photopolymer etching seems to be promoted primarily as a means of creating etchings from photos, so my first plate was based on one of my photos.

House on the Paseo del Prado, Havana.
Solarplate etching on paper, approx A4.

I chose this photo from my trip to Cuba because I wanted to see how much detail the etching method would pickup. Compare it with the original photo:

Almost every detail!

Then I printed the plate in different colours.

This last one shows one of the problems with solarplate etching: if you cut the plate to size by using a Stanley knife, the polymer coating can split from the plate at the corners, leaving a gap into which ink creeps, and then spills out when you print.

More pictures later.

Drawing at Nymans

23 April 2011

At last, a change from painting Ashdown Forest. A warm sunny day spent at Nymans Gardens in West Sussex. First, I drew the ruins of the house, and then crossed over to the wild garden.

Pen and ink on paper, each approx A5.

Ashdown Forest: Last of the sun

22 April 2011

The last of the sun going down over the hills catches the edge of the bracken.

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Exhibition ready to go

21 April 2011

Here are pictures of the final hang for the London Road Group exhibition, just before the crowds rushed in for the private view at 6pm.








...and Michael: Last to finish, as usual. Just managed to hide the hammer, tape, cardboard boxes, carrier bags, nails, and bottle of water before the public arrived.

Ashdown Forest: Rainclouds gather

20 April 2011

As afternoon turns to evening, rainclouds gather.

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Ashdown Forest 4

19 April 2011

Dusk comes early to the forest hills as autumn draws on.

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Preparing for the exhibition

18 April 2011

We spent a happy afternoon arranging the exhibition, which opens on 22 April, 2011 at the Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre, East Sussex.

Ashdown Forest 3

17 April 2011

A sunny afternoon in early Spring cut short by storm clouds moving northwards from the English Channel and across the downs.

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Ashdown Forest 2

16 April 2011

Another painting for the Ashdown Forest exhibition. Dark clouds at the end of a late autumn day. Sheets of red bracken stretch up to the horizon.

Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

Ashdown Forest 1

13 April 2011

Our exhibition at the Ashdown Forest Centre opens soon. Next week. It's about time that I got on and did some work for it. Here's the first of my paintings.

29 July, 2pm. Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 cm.

The dominant feature of the Ashdown Forest landscape is not the trees -- it's not that sort of forest -- but the wide horizons and arching skies.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.

What colour is the forest?

04 April 2011

Maybe it's black and white.

Linocut, 10 x 10 cm.

Life drawing

02 April 2011

Drawings from our latest life session.

Five minute poses.

Ninety minute pose, pencil on paper.

Fifty minute pose, pencil on paper.

I liked one of the quick sketches so much, that I "painted" it in Photoshop later.