Slamseys Sketchbook Challenge. 2

SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES

As I printmaker I have found that sometimes reducing an image down as simply as you can, can help you to understand they key features of the subject – often these shapes are very striking and really highlight the elements that make the object instantly recognisable. This is particularly useful when using layering techniques to ensure that the design never gets too complicated.

some ideas

Draw simple silhouettes of animals and objects
Layer outlines of objects one on top of the other
Place several objects together and draw the whole shadow
What happens when you look at them again from a different angle

I have decided to work on some ideas I had during my recent trip to Canada. Although I didn’t actually get to see any first hand, there was a lot of moose and bear iconography in shops, galleries and even product packaging. I’ve been wanting to create some of my own designs inspired by my trip, so the Slamseys Sketchbook Challenge is a great excuse to do this!

Slamseys Sketchbook Challenge, shadows, silhouettes and outlines

PRINT IT

I think that these designs will make a really cool screenprinted series. I’ve decided to work on a small scale at first, using an embroidery hoop as the base for my screen. Especially when I am experimenting like this, I really enjoy the flexibility that using the embroidery hoop offers, rather than the larger aluminium screens. It’s also much less wasteful and allows me to quickly repeat the design over and over again. This is a great idea for printing your own gift wrap or even printing on fabric. By using contact paper I can even keep my stencil to use again in future projects without having to re-cut it.

Moose head Screenprinting at Slamseys

I love that with this method of screenprinting you get these unpredictable variations creating interesting effects.

Moosehead variation,

I’m also keen to experiment with the reverse of my stencils, but for this I need to be able to create a clear edge, so I am moving to my larger aluminium framed screens but still keep my printing on quite a small scale.

Aluminium screen ready for printing, with moose

One of my favourite techniques (although not at all seasonal!) is using talcum powder to create a fabulous snowy background. I learnt this when I was completing a printmaking course at Gainsborough House and happily it works on canvas and on paper.

Moose, screenprinted onto paper and fabric, slamseys, essex

For now I am just experimenting with colour, sizing and texture and printing on fabric tote bags as well as papers, but I think this would make a great four-colour print series for our Winter Exhibition at Slamseys.

*  *

Screenprinting is one of my favourite printmaking techniques as it’s so easy to set up at home. For families looking for inspiration for the summer holidays we are running a fun stencil screenprinting workshop aimed at ages 10-14. Keep an eye on our workshops pages for details of our other printmaking workshops.

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