Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Planning an Engraving "As You Go"

Almost all of my engravings are carefully planned. The most complex have detailed drawings, normally twice as large as the final image. I refer to these as I engrave and find them invaluable. On the wood, I translate the textures of the drawing - usually in ink - into the marks made by my gravers.

Sometimes, I like to make things up as I go along. Some time ago, I engraverd a tawny owl on a small piece of lemonwood. It has sat there, forlorn and unfinished. Recently, I have not been in the studio much to work. I went in to tidy it and then started to insulate the walls as it gets rather cold in there in winter. I think that I benefit from this break as now I am refreshed and keen to get on with work. I thought I would get back to the owl.

I had the idea when I engraved it that a moon would be a good addition. A few nights ago, the moon was shining through broken clouds with a halo around it. This has stuck in my mind and I will try to recreate it. The foreground will be simple, with the owl perched on a post or stump.
I scanned the block last night so that I can post it. The block is not much more than an inch across - its quite detailed work. You can see the ink sketch I drew on the block. Click on the image to enlarge it.

I will keep you posted with progress reports. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Sunday Evening.
Listening: Kronos Quartet; Michael Nesmith
Reading: Richard Brautigan

I spent today making pencil sketches in preparation for line drawings for a website. This is for local restaurant in an isolated Fenland village, about 15 minutes drive from my house. I have always enjoyed bartering and, as this restaurant serves some of the best food in the area, I have arranged to be paid at the dining table!

I drove out on a damp, misty day to make sketches and take pohotographs. These conditions really emphasise the atmosphere of the Fenlands, where I was born and where I still live. This photograph gives a flavour of the ladscape - click on it for a larger version.

OK - back to drawing. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Non-Printing Day and Website News

An early start today as I was travelling. I checked my email first thing and the set of for the station to travel to London to meet up with old university friends, one of whom I had not met for nearly 30 years. It was a great day to catch up and I had such a great time, especially as we seemed to pick up our comfortable friendship so easily. Most of the day was spent at tables - coffee, lunch and coffee again. I really enjoyed my early evening walk back along the Thames with Christmas lights and the normal city illuminations reflected in the great river:

I had wondered about working this evening but decided to mke this a non-printing day. I can catch up tomorrow and start fresh. I plan both engraving and printing during the day.

I am a step nearer to the long overdue redesign of my website. I have a new domain and will build the site there before transfering the whole thing to my normal address, intending to keep both going in the future. I will post the new address here as soon as there is something to see.

One of the better days.

Happy New Year, by the way! Posted by Picasa