Wednesday, 3 October 2012

In which I sketch Alice

I love Alice in Wonderland - in fact, I prefer 'Alice Through The Looking Glass'.  I've not been very imaginative for my printmaking course so far - I've been making prints of things that exist in real life - so I thought I'd add in a print of something from my own imagination.

So I decided to do something about Alice and the Fawn from 'Looking Glass'.  Alice moves into the wood where creatures forget their names, and meets a fawn.  Neither of them can remember what they are, so it's only when they leave the wood that the fawn knows what it is, and that it should be frightened of humans. 

That passage has always struck me as something Edenic, with the loss of innocence of both Alice and the Fawn, as they realise humans and animals cannot live in harmony. 

I started out by sketching a fawn, from a picture in a nature book and some images of deer from “4,000 Animal, bird and fish motifs” by Graham Leslie McCallum.  I wanted Alice and the Fawn resting in the wood - even though they don't do that in the book, it gives them a little more time together?  So I tried to draw Alice reclining on the right of the fawn first.  It didn't work.  I'm not great at drawing human figures, so I lay down on the floor, hugged a cushion as though it were a fawn and got Mr P to take a photo that I could sketch from.

I didn't really like the design of this - Alice looks a bit clingy, and the overall shape is low and flat.  So I tried again, looking at the Tenniel drawings in my copy of 'Looking Glass' and trying to find one where Alice is kneeling.  I did, and adapted it so she's on the fawns's left.

Then I thought about background and colour.  I knew it had to have a limited palette if I were to do it as a print, I'm really only up to 3 colours at the moment!  I wanted the woods to be a bit dreamy and dark, so I went for blue, which is the traditional colour for Alice's dress.  I added a couple of bats because I like bats, I think they are friendly.

I took a pic, uploaded it to my computer and tinkered around with the colour.  I tried it as green, but I think I prefer it as blue.

So the next stage is to transfer the design onto lino and start cutting.  I want to try doing this as a reduction print, where I print the palest colour, then cut away more lino and reduce the surface as I print the darker colours.  But I think I'm going to have to do this with 2 pieces of lino, one for the dark blue and light blue, and one of the light fawn, dark fawn and black.  I don't think it would work laying the fawn over the blue or vice versa.

1 comment:

  1. Just lovely! I like the blue, too. Keep going, girl.