Nailing Mackerel

I was in Cork over the weekend. Working. I drove down early the day before the exam to get a bit of time in Cork and to myself. I liked this …

I ate a Masala Dosa in Iyers, bought a soapstone oil burner in an ex-head shop across the river, browsed in Vibes and Scribes bookshop and then drooled in their craft shop on Bridge Street.

I know we’re in the middle of winter but I only got to finish this autumn scene on Saturday night. I started it ages ago.

I spent much of Saturday evening looking at Indian motifs and they obviously stuck in my mind. I did these during a few examining gaps. Just doodles really.

Bheenth Chitra is a type of wall art seen on the outside of houses in Gujarat and Rajasthan in India. It comprises mandalas and other motifs and I was interested in the colour used: a sort of terracotta. I just had a little go trying to get the colour by mixing a few watercolours. (I’m becoming more comfortable with watercolours now. I used to be afraid of them but I’ve found that they don’t bite. I’m just talking it slowly, looking at layers and blending effects and so on.) I usually do mandalas with pens or pencils but I did this with a brush. It’s not that neat but I’m going to say that it has character!

And so to the fish. I’m still trying to nail mackerel. I cheated and traced one from Claire McKay’s work on Etsy. Just to get me started, really. I then transferred the design onto lino and did a linocut. It’s quite small (about 8-9 cms) so the cutting was quite intricate.

Then I used the linocut to print some fish. Yay!

Then I tried, not that successfully, to print one on a tuna tin …

I did this one freehand with watercolour and gouache. It’s not great but I’m getting there.

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