"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Castlerigg Mezzotint - The Begining.

The start of a new mezzotint print. From the original water colour sketch I made a tonal pencil study  which I then scanned and printed off in reverse ready for transferring to the plate. The plate had been rocked with an 84 gauge Lyons rocker in 24 directions with a 50% overlap, about 36 hours work in total. At 200mm x 300mm this is the largest mezzotint I've attempted so far.

The location for the study is the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District looking north towards Blencathra.

The original watercolour sketch

Tonal study in pencil and ink wash

The study scanned and printed in reverse

Transferred on to the copper plate

Starting the plate work.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Ready to Edition

After a couple more weeks working on the mezzotint plate it is now at a stage where it is ready to edition.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Blea Gill - Mezzotint

I started a new mezzotint just before Christmas, beginning work on putting the image on to the plate the first week in December. By mid January the plate was at a stage where I needed to take an impression just to give me an idea of how it would look like printed. On the plate the image looks quite well defined, however this is very misleading as can be seen on the 1st state impression, which is still very dark and on paper not as well defined as the plate image would suggest.

Plate at state i

Image at state i
The image is very dark and with little definition. The sky is starting to take shape and while the waterfall is clear it needs more burnishing to bring out the highlights on the water.

Image at state ii

Image at state iii
More work on the sky, a combination of scraping and burnishing back the burrs is starting to define the clouds and veils of mist sweeping down the valley towards the waterfall.

Image at state iv
Slowly pulling out and sharpening up the image. At this stage the image is almost ready to edition. The cliff to the left of the waterfall needs to be lightened up, it is supposed to be sunlit! The clouds need to be lightened in parts to break up the uniform grey tone.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Devils Arrows

Devils Arrows - Boroughbridge
Reduction Linocut
240mm x 358mm
Edition of 10

Printed in 23 colours in 16 passes. Way more colours than there should have been but I didn't really have a plan when I started this print and more or less made it up as I went along, gradually adding more colours.

These are two of the three Devils Arrows standing stones in the Ure Valley near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire. Not quite aligned in a straight line the third stone, partly hidden in trees is behind the viewpoint of this image.

If you wish to purchase this print it can be found at my on-line shop here

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Tynemouth Update

Finally got the mezzotint to a stage where I'm happy that it's ready to edition. Just a little more burnishing on the foreground grasses to bring out the highlights and it's finished.

Mezzotint printed in 3 colours.
150mm x 200mm.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


This is an image that I've been playing around with for the last couple of years. I've already tried to make a linocut of it twice and failed, so now I'm trying a mezzotint. Grounding of the plate began in early April and took a couple of weeks work. Since then I've been working on the plate intermittently between printing linocut editions.

Starting from a tonal pencil drawing taken from my original pen field sketch. I scanned the sketch and printed it off in reverse (above). From this I began working on the plate. Gradually scraping away the ground to reveal the lighter areas.

1st state impression. This proof reveals the basic image although one with much work still to do. Overall it is still very dark. The breakers and beach need much more work as does the cloudscape above the castle.

After a bit more scraping and burnishing I took another impression. Already there is a big difference from the 1st impression but there is still much to do. Gradually though the image is starting to come together. The waves breaking on the beach need to be better defined but I'm pleased with the way it is going.


Song of the Moors
8 colour reduction linocut
Edition of 10
190mm x 170mm

With the addition of a last dark blue grey I finally finished the curlew print. I'm pleased with how this print has turned out. Hopefully with just a limited palette and a simple composition I've managed to convey something of the atmosphere of a northern moorland spring.

The print has now been listed on my Folksy shop and can be found here