the beasts of Glimmerglass

The second stage of Glimmerglass preparation finds me trialling collage images drawn from maquettes. Above, a dragon’s head study is assembled from collage papers imprinted with Conté pencil rubbings, a technique known as frottage. I’ve made the collage on a black ground, though I don’t yet know whether I’ll be using black grounds for the page vignettes. If I do then they’ll be interestingly shaped and framed, and not plain squares or rectangles.

Below, a dragon made from a combination of collage papers worked in black gouache with rough brushes, and frottage papers taken from old lino-blocks. The goal is always to create as much variety of texture as I can manage. The printing for the book will be a straightforward black on white photo-lithography process, and so tonal values have to be suggested by density of mark-making alone. I like the spotted wings of this collage. I feel as though this dragon would be vividly coloured, and that can be suggested even in a black and white image by diverse patterning.

Above: the dragon image started with simple drawings. As yet I haven’t made a dragon maquette, though I surely will.

Above: an exceedingly rough thumbnail sketch shows the skeleton tree-of-life layout for the front Glimmerglass cover. A riot of flora and fauna barely contains a landslide of lettering. I see this as being a negative image, with a black ground enhancing the silvery filagree on top of it. Other creatures planned for the front include a lion, a goose and a salamander, with the minotaur intended for the back where more flowering branches will frame a panel for the ‘blurb’. However, these are early thoughts, and everything may yet change.

13 thoughts on “the beasts of Glimmerglass

  1. Oh this is so right up my street I love it; the fizzing, crackling textures, the bold shapes and negative spaces and all that lively lettering to come too, it’s mouthwatering. ‘Glimmerglass’ is such a fine title, what a wonderful word

  2. i *love* this creature! and that his scales are now having this different life-form from their first as waves from the sea, how profound! this feels like an idea to chew on… fantastic post! thank you!!

  3. How do you create the lovely textures for the rubbings Clive? they are so convincingly scale-like (I quite understand if it is a trade secret! and therefore hush hush)

    • I have no trade-secrets. Creativity is a snake consuming its own tail, and secrets can play no part in that endless flow.

      The rubbings are partially taken from some rough plaster walls high in Ty Isaf, but mostly from assorted lino-blocks made for many different projects. There are so many diverse marks in them… all my own… and they get used randomly in the frottage/collage process. Those scale-like marks are waves from the sea in a lino-block of Saint Kevin and the Blackbird.

        • I like too that there is something akin to a fossil-record in this collage/frottage technique. Apt for a novel in which the ‘gatehouse’ to another world is peppered with petrified life-forms, as though transformed by the gaze of another mythic creature, the Gorgon.

          • The way things are joined (hill/house, sea/house etc.) definitely has an interesting repetition in your technique. Really looking forward to the dragon maquette (I want to play!) And you’ve added some more images since I first looked! I shall be interested to see how you manage to include all those elements in one. Tricksy!

            • Oh yes, more images. I’ve been a busy bunny!

              How to combine the images. Ah ha. Wait and see.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s