One bridge, many moods

A wee while back I posted a collection of drawings I’d been making of my local landmark, Tower Bridge. The night drawing  was my favourite, and I decided that it was the ideal subject matter to try out in my printing course at the school. I’ve been trying out a number of methods of etching and mono-printing but this soft ground technique remains my favourite as it stops me being precious about details and encourages me to make confident, expressive, marks. The process is all rather new to me and I’m enjoying slapping on ink with all the enthusiasm of an amateur. Here, I’ve taken the same zinc plate and experimented with different inks, densities of ink, and colours. Some have two or three inks mixed on the plate, others have had successive layers of inks printed on top of each other, to create subtle hues and deeper darks. The top right image has been re-printed from a dryish plate, overlaid with a thin blue to give it a dawn fog feel. To the bottom-left, I’ve smudged chalk dust on the plate to give sharp whites to the sky, and above that even reversed the quantities of ink to achieve a moody silhouette. No doubt I’ll play some more with it. But not bad a variety of effects for a plate that’s only four inches wide.

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