At the start of 2010 i found myself in need of a challenge, and so i embarked on a project to document every bus trip that i took during the year in the form of a lino print.

I'm an illustrator by trade, but i was so busy illustrating that I wasn't really doing much observational drawing any more. Plus I really fancied getting to grips with a new [ish] skill. And lino printing is a fairly easy thing to set up, at least to begin with...

I decided that each print would be A5, in a limited edition of 13, to celebrate the fact that the route i travel most is the 13/13A. It's a good job I don't live in Headingley and travel on the number 97 all the time...

Now the year is up and all the prints from the project are posted here, in journey order.

Some of the prints are a bit all over the shop if I'm honest. Some aren't even that good. Some are pleasing in places, and one or two make me very, very happy. Several of them have left me feeling utterly exasperated and seriously thinking of jacking the whole thing in.

But I didn't, and here they are. Inspired by Billy Childish, I have resolved not to think of them in terms of success or failures - they just are what they are and I've been trying to learn to do them better and to make something worth looking at...

Friday, February 11, 2011

pencils vs. pens

It took me a long time to get my head around the relative and differing qualities of pencil drawings and block prints. A stupidly long time, if I’m honest.

My sketchbooks filled up with scribbly pencil drawings, which I was then trying to convert into lino. But the lines and the [relatively] subtly grey-shaded spaces translated pretty clumsily at times – I was a long way through the project before I started trying to think about the drawing process in terms of shapes, and positive/negative spaces.
Some of the less well-made prints I think suffer because of this.
Using a pen as opposed to a pencil for the sketchbook drawings helped a lot, as it got me away from describing things with lines of graduated grey graphite and into looking at solid black areas a bit more…

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