Varied Editions — Torcello

I mentioned in an earlier blog that some motifs inspire experimentation, and these images of S. Maria Assunta on the Venetian island of Torcello are examples of one group of techniques used to add colour to an image.

First, proofs are taken at each stage in black ink until the plate is considered to be completed. Then, by carefully inking-up à la poupée and selective wiping and/or rolling of the plate, a wide range of weather and lighting conditions, can be suggested with coloured inks. It is great fun to do, not least because the resulting prints can be unpredictable.

The plate may be inked in two or more colours. Sometimes it may be passed a second time through the press. If it does have a second pass, then the registration of the plate is crucial in achieving a crisp image.

Sometimes the plate is printed onto a new sheet of paper without re-inking. This is called a muculature, or ghost print and can produce a wonderful, soft, atmospheric image.

Using these techniques takes a lot more time and care than inking in black.

A unique inking of a plate is known as a varied edition, usually shown on the print as (VE) sometimes called a monoprint.

Here is a selection from 3 plates, showing how different the motif can look with this technique.

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©Henry Hagger 2019

Henry’s Open Studio: 1–2 December 2018

In December 2018, I have organised an Open Studio weekend, at my very peaceful studio in the Park of Alexandra Palace.

Henry’s Open Studio

Etchings and Lithographs in B&W and colour

Editioned prints and working proofs

Pastels and watercolours

viewing: Saturday 1 December and  Sunday 2 December 2018**

Open: 11am–4pm

Henry’s Studio in Alexandra Palace Park,
London N10 2AS (nearest Satnav*)
My mobile: 07948 015 314

RSVP: henryhaggerstudio@gmail.com

Open Studio 2018 invite and map

  • *Please download a copy of the map attached to help you find the studio, which is near ‘the Grove’, inside the park. Just click on the map to download and print it.
  • ** Weekend parking can be difficult, to avoid this, park near the intersection of Dukes Avenue and Grove Avenue, and enter via that entrance, for the shortest walk to my Studio.

©Henry Hagger 2018

Hastings: Dawn and Dusk

Here are two sides of Hastings: the fishing community at Rock-a-Nore and the trippers on the sands.

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Dawn is printed from a steel plate and uses the techniques of soft ground, aquatint, spit-bite, scraping, burnishing and dry-point.

As you can see, it went through several transformations, most notably at State 5 when there were five separate stoppings-out. After each stopping-out, the plate is placed back in the acid for a predetermined time. The time for each biting is different and the effect is cumulative. You can also see the effect of different wiping of the same state in images 3, 3a and 3b.

There is much scraping-out on this plate, which is a difficult job because steel is much harder than zinc. Steel, however, is better for colours, especially yellows, which, when wiped on zinc plates often take on a greenish hue.

In State 7, I have experimented with colour. These prints are monoprints (sometimes referred to as V.E. or varied edition), that is, they are variations printed from the same matrix: each one is unique.

Hastings state 6 monoprint 1 plate wiped in black and rolled in yellow 72dp
VE 1  © Henry Hagger
Hastings state 6 monoprint 2 plate wiped in Umber and rolled in yellow72dpi
VE 2 © Henry Hagger
Hastings state 6 monoprint 3 plate wiped in black and rolled in yellow 72dpi
VE 3 © Henry Hagger
Hastings state 6 monoprint 4 wiped in black with orange roll 72dpi
VE 4 © Henry Hagger
Hastings state 6 monoprint 5 wiped in black with pale orange roll 72dpi
VE 5 © Henry Hagger

I used a different technique to the à la poupée that I showed you in Spanish Journey: Part IV: Ronda and Madrid. Here the dark ink is wiped into the intaglio and the lighter colour, which may be modified to alter its consistency or viscosity, is applied over the plate with a roller. Thus, when printed, the dark ink is the top layer.

I was particularly attracted by the foremost boat, RX55. Clinker-built boats have such graceful lines and, in the round, are beautifully crafted sculpture.

There is no harbour at Hastings and the fishing boats are pulled up onto the beach by a big tractor. Boats are registered at the nearby port of Rye, hence the RX numbers on their prow.

Old tales, young dreams, intaglio gravure, 300 dpi RSMA 2014, SocAA2017 , Discerning Eye 2016
Old Tales, Young Dreams © Henry Hagger

The Dusk plate is intaglio gravure wiped in a blue/black blend to give an impression of the sea at dusk.

A father and his children sit on the shingle, with the Hastings Pier in the background. He appears to be telling a tale to his daughter, while his son, who has heard all the tales before, looks away and dreams of what he will do when he grows up. Old Tales, Young Dreams.

I was fascinated by the silhouette of the Pier seen against the sparkling light on the sea, and engaged by the domestic scene in the foreground.

©Henry Hagger 2018

Further Exhibitions

I have had a work selected for

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

at  The Mall Galleries
The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH

viewing from 18–23 September 2018

Open daily: 10am–5pm

Free entry

For more details: visit

After this the Exhibition will be touring to:

 The Guildford House Gallery:
155 High Street,
Guildford GU1 3AJ
Tel. 01483 444 751

viewing from November–December 2018,

Open: Monday–Saturday 10am–4.45pm

For more details: visit

And then to the Hampshire Cultural Trust:

viewing from January–March 2019,

For more details: visit

©Henry Hagger 2018

Summer Exhibitions 2018

This summer, 2018, my work will be appearing in a number of exhibitions:

The London Print Studio GallerySummer Show:

viewing from 13 July–1 September 2018,

425 Harrow Road
London W10 4RE
Tel. 020 896 9327

visit for more details.

The National Original Print Exhibition at London’s  Bankside Gallery:

viewing from 19–30 September 2018,

Bankside Gallery, Thames Riverside
48 Hopton Street, London SE1 9JH
Tel. 020 7928 7521
Open daily during exhibitions: 11am–6pm

visit for more details.

©Henry Hagger 2018

Spanish Journey: Part IV Ronda and Madrid – The Final Chapter

I took a few days out from my Spanish commission to visit the town of Ronda, famous for its bullring and for the Puente Nuevo. The temperature here in August exceeds 40°C during the middle of the day, so I worked in the morning and in the late afternoon when it was cooler.

Ronda morning,  from my sketchbook   72dpi.jpg
A Page from my sketchbook

Some artists have a motif which they find so fascinating that they return to it again and again. In my case (and that of David Bomberg before me), it is the ‘new’ bridge at Ronda. Built from 1751–1793 by Juan Antonio Díaz Machuca to a design by José Martín de Aldehuela, it is the most recent of the three bridges which cross the river Guadalevín. The earlier ones were built further upstream where the river is not as wide, as only smaller spans were possible at the times of their construction. The building at the top of the gorge is the Parador, which I have simplified for effect.

I have already shown you some prints of the dramatic gorge in my first blog. Here are some more images showing different approaches to the same motif:

Ponta Nueva , Ronda , charcoal, 35 x 50 , £480.jpg
Charcoal drawing © Henry Hagger
Ronda large BW etching 2.jpg
Soft-ground etching © Henry Hagger

 

One way of adding colour to prints is to apply individual colours to a single plate surface with small inking tools called ‘dollies’. The technique is known as à la poupée ( French for ‘ with a doll’). As you can imagine, it is a delicate operation and takes time. I used this method in the colour intaglio prints shown in the Gallery.

Puente Nuova -Ronda, colour etching VE , 30x40 cm jpeg 72dpi
Mono-print inked à la poupée © Henry Hagger

 

This watercolour was exhibited at The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.

Ronda afternoon ,watercolour 72dpi.jpg
Ronda Afternoon © Henry Hagger

The ‘Morning’ version was also shown at The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and at the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour in their Contemporary Watercolours Exhibition.

Ronda morning, watercolour 72dpi.jpg
Ronda Morning © Henry Hagger

See the Gallery, for more of Ronda: intaglio prints, some touched with pastel; and a Lithograph.

The prints of the bullfight and of the Sherry bar in Madrid are from a later trip but I’ve included them in this Spanish blog.

Bullfight 72dpi
Sol y Sombra ©Henry Hagger

Sol y Sombra was drawn from a photo in the Tauromachy Museum – the bullfighting museum at the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda. This was printed from two plates (another way of adding colour) and is a varied edition.

CAH La Venencia Madrid 2 colour etching 9 x 12cm
La Venencia ©Henry Hagger

La Venencia is also a two-colour edition. The actual venencia from which this unspoilt Madrid tapas bar gets its name can be seen hanging behind the bar to the left of the picture

– and below is a page from my sketchbook.

La Venencia sketch 1  72dpi.jpg
La Venencia sketch ©Henry Hagger

 

©Henry Hagger 2018