Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fruit Alphabet Exchange Spoiler - Part 3

I have finished the last two colours on the print! They look pretty darned good, but were a little tricky to do simultaneously. Worth the fiddling, though, because now it's done!!

Keeping with the lighter colours that I'd started with printing (rather than the bold ones from the original design), I did a light, spring green and a slightly light orange-red.

Rolling up the two colours was mostly easy, with a few places I had to be very careful where the brayer went on the block. The final little dot of red on the tip of the crown was added by just dipping my fingertip into the rolled out ink on the slab and dabbing it onto the block at the end of the roll up.

The alignment continued to work really well for this print; most of what I printed are worth keeping from an alignment perspective (a nice change from my last exchange print for Four Oceans Press!). You can see on this photo that there's a lot of "noise" on the block: areas which are proud enough to catch the ink from the brayer.

When hand-burnishing, this can be very challenging to avoid and/or clean up. When printing with the block placed first onto the press bed, then the paper on top, the "noise" can get picked up as the press somewhat shoves the paper into the recesses of the block. This technique of placing the paper on the press bed, then the block on top, eliminates the worry of picking up accidental ink from the recessed areas.

So I'm quite pleased overall with the final image:

I took a course on composition this past fall with Lalita Hamill (who is, by the way, a fabulous instructor and very knowledgeable about composition) through the Federation of Canadian Artists. We discussed the use of colour as a design element: a tool to help the viewer's eye be led around an image, or be drawn to a focal area. Red is for areas of focal interest, yellow helps to move the eye around, and blue can be used as a boundary, or rest area for the eye, or as a contrast. Of course, these are huge generalizations, but they're interesting to keep in mind.

I tried to thoughtfully utilize colour in this image. Part of the colour choice was, of course, related to the subject matter: for example, in order to symbolize Quebec with the fleur de lis, the colours really needed to be white and blue. Do you think that the colour use in this piece helps to move your eye around it? What do you find that you look at first? How about the path your eye takes around the piece?

One of my favourite uses of colour in this is the touch of red in the quince; that little hit of warmth, as well as the fact that the only bit of gradient carving occurs there (everywhere else is solid colour block), helps to bring attention to the quince, which is, essentially, the point behind this piece. The queen's direction of gaze also draws an imaginary line to the quince, another device to draw the viewer's eye.

I find this piece quite fun. There's a lot of stuff to keep you interested. All of the symbols that I ended up using for Q were:

Quince (of course!!)
Queue (her braid)
Quercus (oak leaves & acorns)

Did I miss any? I hope the participants in the exchange enjoy the print in their collection as much as I enjoyed developing it.


mizu designs said...

Amie, this is a wonderful print! As for the colour and movement, I would have to agree with what you said. The yellow definitely helps my eye to move around and I'm a huge found of little bits of red (or big bits too!) for warmth and focusing the eye.

Unknown said...

Thanks Kylie for your feedback - I'm so pleased that you find that! (Sorry for the delayed response - I read the comments, post them, and then forget to respond to them, duh!)