For the last couple of weeks I have been learning the basics/experimenting with ‘Inkscape’ – an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. I used to use Illustrator while I was at university, and enjoyed the ‘trace’ function which allowed me to turn my illustrations into vector images, and luckily Inkscape has a similar function.
While I was messing around with the ‘stars and polygons’ tool, I ended up accidentally making shapes like this:
This has kind of got me wondering how I could use images I’ve designed with Inkscape and apply them to embroidery or pattern design… hmmm…
The reason I wanted to get to know my way around Inkscape is that I had recently been asked to design a logo for a permaculture group. This is what I have experimented with so far:
I blacked this image in with pen before scanning it in, then used the ‘trace’ function and tidied the image up:
I’ve adjusted the spacing between some of the paths by using the path and ‘node’ functions. I think it looks pretty nice in green:
I’ll have to wait and see what the verdict is!
Update: They liked it 🙂
I found this drawing amongst my things today – I painted this in Vietnam and it was sent back to York to be in an exhibition. The paper is from vietnam and the paint and paintbrush I used were from Japan. The subject however was inspired by a man we briefly encountered in China who gave every one in my tour group a satsuma while we were waiting on a station platform and then went on his way.
A friend of mine is bring out her own range of jewellery and accessories soon in Bristol and I’m posting some design ideas for her to look at (Hello Jen!)
(Any excuse for squid.)
I’ve e-mailed these off to Testspace people tonight; hope some one wants to use them
I’m trying my hardest to create less cartoon illustrations but at the moment when it comes to drawing people (and mermpeople) I am finding this impossible. I think I need to go do some life drawing again and work on human faces to give everything a more lifelike and less babyish aesthetic.
I’m currently sourcing material that might help me design a logo for this month’s Test Space: Kitchen which is sea themed (bring on the squid) . The night will feature what sounds like the most mouth wateringly poncey fish and chips ever, really vulgar sea shanties, Russian roulette food, Jelly eating competitions, the opportunity to throw lots of stuff at some other stuff, (exactly what it sounds like) a peep show and general nakedness. And much more involving booze.
I’m also designing a label for my friend’s new product range which she hopes to start selling on stalls in Bristol within the next month.
While trawling the depths of google image search yesterday I came across the artist Alain Valet and instantly took a liking to his china ink drawings
Also found this image which isn’t really relevant but I wanted to keep for future reference. And its funny. And its my blog shutup.
Also within the last couple of weeks I’ve been painting the walls of PSL during the mornings as theres a new exhibition in the readying – Roger Palmer ‘Latitude’/ Jeremy Wafer ‘Tropic’, photographic projects from the Tropic of Capricorn. There will be an opening during Light Night (October the 8th 6-8pm) with free drinks, and also the excellent combo of Soup and Cinema
I’ve also started working at Oblong Community Centre in Woodhouse as part of the design collective but as I haven’t had a chance to go down there very much for the last few weeks I’ll leave that story for another time.
Here’s another example of my first messings around with etching
This print uses tissue paper for the eyes which is a very old technique to get blocks of colour into print work. It can be a bit tricky as is anything involving tiny bits of tissue in close proximity to glue and fingers.
I tried a couple of prints using different coloured tissues for the eyes – the yellow worked quite well also.
This is another of my first attempts at etching – I took a varnished copper plate home with me and used an ordinary sewing needle to scratch out the design, then dunked it in the acid the next time I has a print class.
This monday I had my last lesson of etching; I spent the whole lesson working on my aquatint plate, and managed to get one print at the end of the session from it, but this was left on the drying rack at the college (Will post it later)
This is what my etching looks like before I use my other copper plate with the Aquatint design etched into it. I will print one on top of the other to give more colour and definition to the design.
Next week – screen printing!
For the last two weeks on a Monday night I have been learning to Etch at the Leeds College of Art and Design. It’s so precise that every time any one prints anything we all get a bit hyper.
Above is a piece of copper that has Aquatint on it that I’ve rolled my etching on to, so that next week I can paint acrylic in some really specific bits of it to add colour to the etching. Cor, yeah, it’s all pretty satisfying.
Other than that this week I went to Armley Mills Open Day to see what this residency is all about. Turns out it would probably be the best thing in the world. As well as going round all the regular museum cinema/loom/steam loco stuff, we also got to look in all the store rooms which were all a bit heart stoppingly full of all kinds of the kind of Old Shit that really pushes my buttons; old sewing machines, loads of negatives, a load of printing presses, machines, old wooden filling boxes, trunks, ancient computers, you know; THE BEST STUFF EVER. It was also on last Saturday which was so sunny – the canal was beautiful and apparently bares Otters. I find this hard to believe, but IMAGIN if there were otters in Leeds!
Armley Mills is also the head quatres of I Love West Yorkshire Arts Festival, so I got to meet the hundreds of plaster hippos that are being born for it down in the work shop. They are all called Denny. More on that later…
ALSO this week: Check out the blog I’m writing for Chapel Allerton Giant Puppet Parade here
Hi – currently working on some art work for my friend’s Zine. Heres a tiny bit of work in progress:
Off to Nous Vous’ ‘Awesome Movement / Fantastic Motion’ private view tonight at Harewood House – it’s on until June 13th, goseeit