Mevagissey Harbour and The Rooftops of St. Ives prints

Mevagissey Harbour

I knew I wanted to make a print of Mevagissey Harbour, having been there about twenty years ago or more and also having made a simple black and white print of the houses.


So a couple of years ago we went on holiday to Cornwall (as we usually do) and we visited Mevagissey. I took a whole lot of vertical photos with my 50mm lens and stitched them together in Photoshop. The resulting image is below.



Now you can see that the photo is very panoramic, very wide and shallow. But it's a lovely image, it is exactly what I was after. So I used some artistic licence and redrew the scene making it much taller! I simplified the houses, kept some of the boats but made them look nicer (less modern).


I decided on some colours and started blocking in the areas. I decided on cyan, brown,  yellow orange and two transparent greys - one light and one dark. This has become my favourite way of printing as the transparent greys give me more colours and depth to work with.

After blocking out the colours I then like to work on the detail and texture using natural media. Now, I currently use natural media digitally so I use brushes in Photoshop made from scanning real brushes and I also use photos and scans of rollered ink, scraped ink and brushed ink. I use pencil marks for the detail, various textures for large areas, hatching and so on. Below is an example of some of the textures I use.


All of these elements from the colour blocks to the natural media brushes and scans of natural media go towards making the final illustration. Below you can see some of the detail that goes to make up the illustration.

The print was hard to make. You might think a screenprint is easy compared to lino printing but I find it very hard. Not only do you have to align each layer as perfectly as possible but each colour requires special attention to get it right. The colour layers are the easiest, just ensuring that they are all fully printed. The transparent greys are harder for some reason; especially the light grey which I had problems with. You'd think that because it is thinner (mixed with a lot of transparent medium) it would be easier but it required more pressure and attention. Also I stupidly knocked fine white lines out of multiple layers which is pretty daft and meant that there were a lot of failures.

Here is the finished print:

The print is available in my shop here.

The Rooftops of St. Ives

The next print I worked on was The Rooftops of St. Ives. St. Ives is one of our favourite places to go in Cornwall, not only is it picturesque but it has one of the best restaurants and great galleries! There are so many angles from which you can picture St. Ives.

I started from a photo over the rooftops towards the harbour but I changed quite a bit and made it more pleasing to the eye, but hopefully still recognisable!

Here's my sketch:


This print had even more colours than Mevagissey Harbour, or less if you count the actual colours. I used turquoise, blue and yellow but decided to have two transparent greys and two whites! This was definitely an experiment but I was going for more depth, more drama; the ability to have shadows and light.

I employed brush strokes, halftones, lots of pencil marks, scraped inks. I decided to put a heron on a roof and a man on a roof ladder to bring some foreground interest to the print. And I added a tourist taking a photograph in the area in the middle.

This was an even harder print to make than Mevagissey Harbour. But this time because I had decided to overprint two whites, I did not have the problem of registration and fine lines knocked out of multiple layers. The transparent colours were particularly hard to print.

I hope you'll agree though that there is plenty of depth to the colours in this print. It is my most artistic print to date and will help to inform me on what I do next. I am very pleased with how the print turned out and I can't wait to see what I manage to do next with natural media.


Here's a video I made of printing The Rooftops of St. Ives:


The print is available in my shop here.