I start with a plein aire watercolour painting of the image.
I compare it to the photo and alter aspects of the design. I decide the background trees in my painting are too uniform - they need more differentiation in terms of sizes.
I use tracing paper to transfer the image from the painting to the card (my collagraphs use a mountboard matrix).
I then draw the image, and paint liquitex gloss medium where I need the white of the paper to show through. ie the sky and the water.
I cut into the card with a dremmel to make grooves to hold the ink. I make the trees and the bridge this way.
This is a dremmel - noisy but efficient.
I make masking tape stencils of the areas that I want to put tiling cement for the rocks.
This is the tiling cement
I apply the tiling cement and make the textures of the rocks.
I peel off the masking tape and repeat the process until all my "rocks" are complete.
I gently sandpaper the rocks then paint highlights with liquitex and the darker areas with AKUA carborandum.
I then varnish the plate with shellac varnish made with shellac flakes and meths. The plate is ready for printing. I will make bleed prints. the paper will be cut to the size of the rectangle drawn on the plate. I am printing using an xcut xpress as Edinburgh printmakers is shut - printing bleed prints maximises the size of print I can make with the xcut. The print will be 13x38cms.