Buying direct from the artist – what are you getting?

I treat every print I make as an individual piece of art in its own right.

I use high quality fine art inkjet paper with a slight texture very similar to the watercolour paper used for my original artwork. The paper is 310gsm Canson Infinity Edition Etching Rag – 100% white cotton fibre, acid free and museum quality. It is a beautiful fine art paper especially designed for printing on pigment ink printers. 

I am a big fan of brilliant colours, and I don’t want my work to fade – so I use genuine Epson Ultrachrome HD pigment inks on a professional Epson SureColor P800 printer. It is perfect for reflecting the bright colours, pen lines and brush strokes of my original artwork.

I print at a high resolution and allow a white border to set off the image and make it easy to frame. Each print is titled and signed on the front in pencil. 

Nothing leaves my studio that I wouldn’t be proud to have on my own walls.

If you are interested in the detailed process, keep reading.

The process

Creating the original artwork

My travel and urban sketches

These all began life on location. I was there, in the flesh, witnessing the world go past around me. Locals stopped to say hello, and sometimes we communicated with sign language, smiles and thumbs up. Birds fought in the branches above me and ants snuck into my palette. I grabbed on to my paper to stop it flying off in the wind and watched with shock as my only paintbrush took off down a stream. I was there. And it was wonderful. If you are interested in my print then you probably were too.

I love capturing detail, and try to share the sense of wonder I feel when making my sketches and paintings. I dodge raindrops – and tourists – to take home a little taste of a special place to remember forever. 

My wellbeing art

These illustrations reflect my emotions as I drew and painted. Wisdoms learnt through hard experience. Things I want to remember. Tips on survival. Reasons never to give up. Love. Hope. Lots of love. And lots of hope.

I shared those reflections or feelings in order to let others feel less alone, and to find a way forward together. A shared journey. A message about recovery and possibilities. Acknowledging those who care for others.

Many of these works were created as part of the Caring Together Art Journal Project. 

Scanning

I scan my original artwork on an Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner at a very high resolution (800 dpi) and save it as a large TIFF file to preserve quality. I use Vuescan software which lets me tweak how my image is captured, so that it remains as close as possible to the original.

When I’m scanning a long piece like my streetscapes and other accordion sketchbooks, I have to scan in overlapping sections so that I can stitch the image together in Photoshop. That can be a lot of scans!

Editing in Adobe Photoshop

I edit the scan in Adobe Photoshop CC, stitching sections together when the original artwork is bigger than my scanner. That’s a lot of stitching for my concertina landscapes!

I tidy up the scanned background so that the image will print crisply on to white paper without shadowing. If working from a sketchbook I usually edit the crease between pages so that the image prints as a whole rather than divided in half. I spend a lot of time  (usually many hours) perfecting the image for print. Or, at least, perfectly imperfect!

My aim is to create a print that looks like I have drawn and painted it directly onto the paper.

Getting this right involves a lot of equipment, and a lot of trial and error. I try to get my prints as close to the original as possible – or better.

Printing

I print my work on an Epson SureColor P800. It was a big investment, but I just love to see it in action, and the quality of prints is just amazing. I’m very proud of it. It can print up to A2 or even longer using a roll attachment. Roll paper lets me print my streetscapes close to full size.

I use Qimage printing software, which I use to ensure my image can fit perfectly on to any size piece of paper.