With my research of Henry Matisse still on the forefront of my thoughts I started this exercise wanting to apply his method. I thought I could use his way of cutting shapes to simplify a form. I started with one of my favourite buildings in Madrid ‘metropolis’ building. It is my favourite because when we use to drive to the center of Madrid it was the first building I saw before entering the center. In my usual work I rarely do buildings so I felt this could be a challenge. I started by drawing a simple version of the image below on a piece of card. I then cut and glued pieces of card to construct the basic structure of the metropolis. I then used some metal wire for parts of the building (windows and doors) and Rosmary and rose petals to depict trees. I used Rosmary and roses because in previous exercises they worked well giving me very clear and pronounced marks.
Above: collage plate made with card, metal wire, wool, Rosmary and rose petals.
I experimented with A3 and A4 paper. At this point I am just using what I have left over as part four has been taxing on paper and card. My first attempts were not bad but I felt they were missing detail. The trees are good, I enjoy the composition the trees being on the forefront and the building taking a back step.
I experimented using black card and adding a few details like the round window and the name “metropolis” to see if this looked better. I sometimes struggle with the simplicity of mono printing. On one hand I enjoy the spontaneous smudges and marks that I wouldn’t get if I was drawing in my “normal” tradicional way but on the other hand I sometimes feel that the mono printing lacks detail.
I also added some red on the door giving the print a small proportion of an accent colour. I think these small details complete my print and add the finishing touches. What I really enjoy about mono printing is that it gives me a base that I can build on to. I can add layers by adding paint in a different colour to my plate or by doing it digitally. I can even add more interest and depth by sewing on top of it. the negatives about mono printing is that I feel I waste a lot of paint, it is also very messy. With all that said I do think that my work is more relax and not so contrived when using mono print. I enjoy the feeling of “abasatractness”. Mono printing catches the essence of the shape or form that I am trying to depict. It also transforms the image to an abstract one.
Above: I chose an image of a scenery of the beach in the Caribbean. Something different from my usual work. I then used some fern leves from my garden; these worked well in my previous exercises giving me a palm tree kind of feel. I used some pollyfilla for the sky making lines with a knife to create texture. I used some cord for the trunks of the palm trees and some wire ribbon for the sand. For the rock I used some card. For the sun I used a coin as these worked well in previous samples giving me some strong circle lines.
I first experimented with black poster paint on white paper (printing A4 paper).
The results where exactly what I expected. No surprises! It is a naive image of palm trees after all.
The leaves of the palm trees didn’t come out as defined as I would of liked. I do by contrast think that the markings of the sea are successful as well as the trunks of the palm trees. There is no difference in between the markings of the polyfilla and the wired ribbon I used. In my experience I don’t find the pollyfilla very useful, it is messy and hard to get the effect that I want, it may have something to do with the brand I used.
below: I experimented with more colours separating the background; the sea, the palm trees and the rock. I think this was more successful maybe less abstract. The palm trees are more defined. Overall I am not visually attracted to this print. I don’t find it interesting at all. If it wasn’t my work I would say it was a child’s painting. Maybe that is the point! I have simplified and broken down the shapes in the image so much it has become a very naive print. This might work well for a surface print for a fabric?
Below: I carried own exploring other colour combinations. I think using red in the background has proven to be more successful than yellow although the rock seems to have disappeared.
Above; I tried to explore the idea of layering the two previous mono prints via Photoshop. I enjoy the colours achieved but the image has become to over worked.
Below: I decided to depict an image of tower bridge. After experimenting with various materials like leaves, card cord and wired ribbons I decided to move on to felt. Felt worked well when doing Exercise 1 (creat a block). I also used some tangerine netting for the river, some zig zag raffia cord for the clouds and some wire for the tower. It really feels like child play! And then I remembered my research and Matisse cuttings and I am reminded that I am breaking down the basic shapes and elements of my image to create a printing plate.
I experimented with green paper (just for a change). The tangerine netting has worked well creating a good pattern for the river. I used my trusted cord to draw the towers, this resulted in clear lines. I still wanted more… it felt too plain for me. I experimented with blue for the river, grey for the ship, red for the sky and a burgundy for the tower.
I prefer the sample below. By separating the different objects and areas using colour it has become a more textured and vibrant.
I was then left wondering what the image would look like all in grey with small splashing’s of red. I think it works as a mono print. The print is valanced and it’s become more subtle but I still prefer the colourful option.
I moved on to my final collotype print. I decided to do the “puerta de Alcalá en Madrid being that that’s where I grew up.
I used card for the main structure and wool for the flowers. The wool worked well as I could loop it around and achieve the shape I wanted. I used leaves for some of the sculptures on the architecture to capture them, almost like shadows. It took me several attempts until I got the right imprints. I had to add a layer of card and cut it as if they were brick stones to capture more detail of the building. For the background I used sand just to add some texture.
After doing tower bridge I decided to use a similar method (as it worked) and separate the objects or zones with colours (red, grey and blue). Yep it worked! Although time consuming this is so much fun! I couldn’t resist and I took a photograph of my samples and inverted the colours on CAD. I think the result was very interesting to me. The colour pallet is more interesting and the overall effect is more contemporary. I am being very careful not to say “I like it” after my Tutors review but can I say this image is very effective in my opinion?
I took my images a step further and merged them together on photoshop to capture all of the colours and textures that I achieved. This has given the print more depth and richness. I also recorded the writing on the front of the building. The background being black works better as it shows the shape of the bricks clearly. The contrast of the green and the blue works well. There is a good valance of colour. If I had to do it again I would of given the image more space around it.
I started investigating how my prints would look like on interiors. I explored the idea on a arm chair. I was very pleased with the results. The image quality is good. I have merged the seams so that you cant see where they join. The blue on top(right side) and the blue on the bottom left have worked well. The flowers at the base of the chair gives the image a good foundation.
On the seat of the chair I chose the print with the black background and on the back rest of the chair I used the image with the white background so that there is a contrast. The two images have merged well giving the chair the effect of positive and negative.
Doing collatype collage prints has been fun and has taught me another way of drawing. I look forward to being able to explore this method further and possibly add another layer. I could add beading or stitching, lot’s of possibilities. These prints could also be transferred to clay or pottery. These images could also be etched on jewellery 😱!