Monday, 10 January 2011

Aesop's fables print made folding book

Illustration Through Processes 3

For my printmaking project I chose to illustrate through etching and mixed media the tale of ‘The peacock and the jay’. My aim was to create a folding book which accentuated the moral of the story ‘It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.’ I chose this story not only because beautiful imagery and colours came to mind when I read it but because it is important that beauty is skin deep. The cover is a deep blue/ indigo colour with some gold leaf and gold text to signify the colour of a peacocks feather, the fact it is on the cover also adds something as the inside is the real self the outside is a ‘cover’ a ‘fine feather’.
The audience I had in mind was children and the younger generation as when I was young I used to read Aesop’s fables and they are aimed at young people, they are educational about life. So I wanted to keep it quite simple but use a combination of print and different materials to add texture and more substance to the etchings which alone would probably be quite bland. The way I have chosen to portray the story and message of it is by giving the jays warm, nice natures, the red hearts signify warmth and caring whereas the blue hearts show the opposite of this. As the story unfolds, with each turn of the page you see the |jay character loses his warmth and becomes cold, only to get his good heart back when the peacocks attack him for his stolen feathers and he is once again a ‘good’ character. I also wanted the hearts and nature to be a main part of the folded book as the story is based on human nature, so I wanted to give the characters some human qualities which I hope my imagery show this. 

Final imagery from my book

here are the pages from my book...

I chose to use paint, gold leaf and coloured pencils to create this effect. I quite like the child like element to it and the handmade touch also. One image is missing for now ....


Below are just a few simple experiments where I was trying to decide how i wanted my final images for the book, whether or not I wanted to use a combination of print making with paint, papers and various other media forms.

Prints from week 14/12/10

Here are some experiments of imagery for my final print made book, I have explored some type possibly for the cover and also composition and some content of what could be happening in the etchings.

The above image will be the final page in the book

This etching of peacock feathers flying all across the page is for the scene where the jay gets his stoled plumes plucked, i want to really fill the page with decorative feathers.

How many Prints did you make this week?
About 15 etchings

__ How many of these taught you something new?
About half, i figured out that when the paper is too wet the ink creates a very pale, washed out effect as the ink does not bite into the texture of the paper properly. This happened quite a few times before i realised it was due to wet paper!

__ How many hours did you spend in the Printmaking Workshop?

Assess yourself using these bandings.
no show - did not try
failed to understand
minimal application, 40 is a pass
really good
Excellent - perfect

Assess yourself for this week for
__ Competence in practical printmaking techniques

__ Thoughtful and imaginative use of printmaking

__ Visual Sensibility; understanding and expressing ideas in images

__ Using research to expand knowledge, enrich thinking and affect your work

__ Active participation in taught sessions

Sunday, 9 January 2011


I'm using lots of blues, indigo's, greens and golds to show the beauty of a peacocks plumes. As the tale's moral is about not only appearances making fine people, but what is in our hearts. This calls for lots of goldleaf ( the cheap version, obviously).

Print research- peacocks

Edward Bawden

 Artist Edward Bawden [1903-89] has been described as 'an outbreak of talent.' He created wonderful prints and this is perhaps my favourite. His use of shape, colour and scale really appeals to me. I love the way he has done the peacocks tail, like a spectacular fan.

I found these images (below), which although are not created through a print process very inspiring. It is in fact oil on canvas. I stumbled upon it on a website which has many nature based paintings so I thought I'd include it.
The source of the image was, which is a website and project run by three people, Todd and Liz Schaffer and Liz's sister, Sarah. The aim of the project is to purely promote contemporary African artists. I think this is a very compassionate project, to help those who are more in need in a third world country so thought i'd include this, also the artists really do produce some lovely paintings giving us a look into their culture and lifestyle, a true taste of African wildlife. Also, bearing in mind that all of Aesop' fables are based in the animal kingdom and have a moral to them I thought this quite appropriate.

( annoyingly I could not rotate these bottom images! But felt I should include them anyway....)