New print “Seaside Garden”

I’m very happy to share with you this new print of mine called “Seaside Garden” and to show you its development from sketches to finished print.

I worked on this print last year. I knew I wanted to do a seaside garden and was inspired greatly by Derek Jarman’s garden and house at Dungeness. There are also many other interesting things around Dungeness such as decaying boats and huts, flowers and plants.

So I started off by just sketching out the various elements I wanted to use (see below).

Original elements sketches

Once I’d got the elements I began putting together a composition. I knew I wanted the beached boat at the bottom and the house at the top. I originally played around with putting in lots of wood and groynes but it wasn’t much of a garden.

First compositional sketch

My second compositional sketch is very much closer to the final print. For some reason I wanted to put towering rocks at the top (even though Dungeness is flat) and I didn’t want the sea at the bottom so I put the sea almost at the top. There are a few daisies above the seaweed which didn’t make it into the final print.

Second compositional sketch

By the time I did my colour sketch I had changed the view of the boat and had seaweed winding around the bottom. You can see me playing with ideas for the background of the sea kale and daisies—I put in pebbles and sleepers and other patterns.

Rough colour sketch

Once the rough colour sketch was done it was time for the final detailed drawing which I did this time at a massive size – 70 x 100cm. I wanted to get everything perfect so the elements start to look like paper cuts rather than “digital lino cuts” although there are some deliberate lino cut techniques in the print such as in the rocks.

Detailed drawing

Even in the detailed drawing some of the elements are left unfinished, such as the rocks, so I can interpret them in a “digital linocut” style.

The final print was the most detailed and time consuming print I’ve ever done. Four colours which had to be registered pretty accurately meaning 50 sheets of paper all had to have three registration tabs taped to each one before printing. But the end result was all worth it! I am delighted with how it turned out with a mixture of strokes and patterns in a semi-abstract composition.

Final print

Here’s a close up of the boat. It’s amazing just how many different ways you can draw the wooden planks with just two colours!

Final print detail

And a close up of the house showing some playful patterning of the wood grain.

Final print detail