Using lino printing to explore colour combinations.
My design training always comes to the fore when I’m considering new subject matter, I like to explore a theme in as many visual formats and mediums as possible, these can include: sketching, painting, printing, digital art, laser cutting, ceramics, 3D modelling, to name a few of my favourites!
Its important to grab your initial ideas and start running with them as soon as possible, in the early stages I often work them up in one of my sketch books, once I have a design I’ll often explore different colour combinations. In this case I was inspired by some of the many photos of leaves I’ve taken over the years
Quickly draw up your designs
I settled on a simple leaf design, and then created a lino cut from vinyl, so that I could explore a variety of colour combinations with it. I used gauche paint, watercolour paint and stamping inks to create a series of leaf prints in a concertina sketchbook.
Its easy to create one of these sketchbooks using a long thin strip of watercolour paper, folded in a concertina fashion, this one is about 4′ x 6′ on each page.
Print your design and experiment with colour
I then was able to explore a variety of colour combinations quickly, using watercolour washes. When I want to keep things loose, I stand up to paint, use a big long handled brush and stand as far away from the paper as possible.
Using a stamp keeps the process quick and spontaneous, because you know you can just print out some more designs if your first combinations don’t hit the mark!
I was encouraged to try a few combinations that I would normally have stayed away from including a burnt sienna and dark purple wash.