"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Coot Number 2

I have returned to the coot sketches and am planning another print to be a companion to Rook. I am not sure if or when I will be able to find the right sort of wooden typeface so might just have to cut it myself. I have doubts about my ability to do this but it would be good practice.

IMG
Black and white thumbnail.

I made a rough proof and scribbled on it a bit with white chalk to  see what more I need to cut away. I made quite a few colour roughs but in the end decided it will just be black and white this time, like Rook.

 c-plate-proof
Inked up plate and first proof

After a bit more cutting away, proof number two.

proof-2-bg

Lots more experiments to come with this one :)

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Blue Hedgehog

On Saturday we went to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is so many years since I was last there and I had forgotten how rich and wide ranging is the scope of the museum.
I found many more wonderful beasts from all over the world, but the best of all was the small blue Egyptian hedgehog.
We do love our hedgehogs but I had no idea that the Egyptians revered them as symbols of regeneration.

In the subdued lighting of the gallery the hedgehog has a certain mystery. The museum’s record, brightly lit and with its measuring scale and all the chips so evident is not quite so magical.


Fitzwilliam Museum photo

Faience hedgehog
Tomb 655 Beni Hasan Egypt
length 6.25 cm
width 3.75 cm
Twelfth Dynasty
Middle Kingdom
Date 1976 B.C. — 1793 B.C.

After a bit of research I found quite a few other  Egyptian Hedgehogs. Most surprising is the real and long eared Middle Eastern hedgehog.

Berkah.13.Kookherd_كوخرد

This little chap is from Iran: photo Berkah.13.Kookherd from Wikipedia

A quick internet search shows that some ancient hedgehog figures do have long ears.This little faience amulet is from the Pelizaeus Museum  Hildesheim.

4885

from the Global Egyptian Museum

My initial sketch of the short eared Fitzwilliam Hedgehog more as I saw it, in the tomb like low light of the museum display.

fitz-hedgehog-bg  
Then some sketches :

h-sketches-2h-sketches-1 

And then a quick reduction print:

H-hogs-

The Blue Hedgehog

blue-h1-bg

The little blue hedgehog on a windy moonlit evening with swaying palms. Reduction Lino image 6 x4 inches

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Some Snippy Characters

Cutting out shapes for the dragon leaves lots of bits over. So,  in a time honoured bit of creative play and something I have done over the years with students to get some random ideas going, here are some assembled “creatures” from the detritus.

Snippies… They are whatever you would like them to be :)

snippy-3snippy-4

 

snippy-2 

snippy-1

snippy-5 snippy-6

 snippy-7 snippy-8 snippy-9 snippy-10

I love them! Taking them the next step, adding texture colour and maybe a bit of animation can really make them live.

Go Snippies…..

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Some Slow Dragon progress:

I’ve been laid up for a few days so progress with anything has been slightly delayed but last week I did get round to thinking about the Dragon Puppet. So far I have just played around with paper and scissors. I am basing the first version of puppet on the old woodcut of the Henham Dragon and it’s going to be just a simple articulated 2D shape.

Dragon: First steps

_dr-bg 

Taking shape

drag-1 

benign…

dr6bg

heraldic 1…

dr8bg

heraldic 2…

dr5-bg

fearsome…

drag-2

cautious…

drag9bg

with enticing biscuit….

dr7-bg 

Ready….

dr4bg

steady ….

dr3  

leap …