Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Another very cold day but the sun is streaming down and my morning walk was glorious.

Its day two of my illustration and I am spending the day engraving clouds. I started with a pencil study and then sketched the main shapes onto the block. These divide the "sky" into different tones. The marks I have made will guide me but I will be free to modify the areas as I engrave. This makes todays work a pleasing contrast to yesterday's architectural subject. Here is the block ready to start:

My first session of engraving went well. The studio was pleasantly warm and I was pleased withmy progress. My client wants me to pay particular attention to the clouds in this piece. I am using a technique perfected by Victorian engravers. Instead of straight lines, I am engraving a series of curvy, serpentine cuts. They give a very different texture.

I have started with the middle tones and then - probably late afternoon - I will tackle the darker and then the lighter areas. I plan to proof the block first thing tomorrow morning with a view to making any last modifications before lunchtime. I engraved while listening to a "soundscape" by Robert Fripp that suited my mood perfectly. I'm off now for another session while J cooks up some mushroom soup.

When the work is done, I will scan a small area of cloud to show how it appears on the finished impression.

Finally, greetings to my new reader; we both enjoyed hearing from you again.


Annie B said...

Andy, it's nice to get this glimpse into your process. Thanks for showing the drawings. -ab

Patricia Phare-Camp said...

Harry I admire your re-drawing of your sketches. I'm usually much to lazy to redraw. What I would have done is scan my sketches and collage them together in photoshop, then insert, flip and size the image in a desktop publishing program (powerpoint, publisher), print it out and paste it to my board. Redrawing directly onto the plate--acurately even--wow!

Andy English said...

Many thanks for your comments.

Although I use computers a lot, I do try to use traditional methods in my printmaking. I am passionate about drawing and so what might be seen to be a chore is actually a pleasure.