Picasso, Le Banderillo, 1959

Picasso, Le Banderillo, 1959


I was just going through some of the images from the London Original Print Fair, and was struck by this one. Partly because the bulls were subjects I used earlier, in monoprinting.

Trying to deconstruct this one from the online image, I think it may be done in two layers, as a reduction print. The first layer, which looks greyish/ orange

(Image from London Original Print Fair iPhone App)

in my image, has the cuts that reveal the paper, and these are mainly gestural, with a broad curved blade. They suggest movement. But there are also fine lines in areas which define shapes, around the bull, faces in the crowd, and for the embroidery on the bullfighter’s costume. There is also what looks like sandpapering- cloudy white areas. I think the first inked layer may have been wiped or brushed, as there seem to be texture marks, making it a combined lino and mono-print.

The second layer is black, I think, and again there is evidence of mono-printing effects, as the bull seems to have been brushed to give it solidity. The second bullfighter figure, on the left, has the kind of rough scratched marks that I termed “distressing” earlier in my own lino cutting. All these different marks seem to work well here, whereas when I mixed marks like these (Gauguin Self-portrait), I felt they just “didn’t go” together. Maybe just my own unfamiliarity with the style at that point, combined with lack of confidence. But if Picasso did it, it has to be good…!

And at this point, I do feel a lot more familiar with the techniques of printmaking I’ve been introduced to, and feel capable of choosing from them for different effects. I think I may now use this technique of wiping the ink on a relief print I’m doing as part of my final series.


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