Designing the background

I’ve been a bit slow posting this item on my blog, as I’ve already cut out the blocks ready for printing, and even done a registration test print.  Anyway, I wanted to talk about designing the final print because it’s important.  I’ve started off with a simple sketch of an animal and decided that it would look good in a print, but how?  What would be the setting for my hare?  Is it a daylight or a night-time setting?  Image, being chased at night by a fox looking for a night-time snack!

The questions could go on and on but the point I’m trying to make is that prints don’t just make themselves, you have to think through lots of details, make lots of decisions and then draw it.   As my hare is running I thought I would set him on a dirt track in a field with some hedgerow behind him and some grass in front. As this is a linocut I’ve decided to keep the lines and forms bold simple.  I want something bold for this picture, strong colours and a simple design so I’ve decided to go with Moonlight.  I’ve got some fantastic Chinese straw silk paper that will work well for a moon and some wonderful strong colours that have just arrived.

Most of my thinking is done while I walk the dog, when I’m scribbling with my pencil or reading a book, I read a lot of books!   I also look at a lot of images and sometimes you get a spark from them, the key thing is to experiment.  I played around with a few backgrounds before I settled on this one and there is still more work to do – this is just the outline.  I’ve still got a hedgerow to draw!




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