Archive for the '4.1 Monoprinting' Category

T1-MMT-P4-p1 Extension with gelatin plate

At the end of my last post (22-November-2015) it seemed I had a pocket of time to stop ticking boxes and start experimenting more freely. Following a suggestion from Lottie I researched gelatin plates, which appeared to offer great textural and layering opportunities working in a very free and spontaneous way. My chosen goals:

  • Make a glycerin and gelatin plate
  • Continue using the jug as my initial design source
  • Produce a sequence of prints as if in the early sketchbook stage of design development
  • Use materials, techniques and maybe samples from earlier in the course as stencils and texturing agents
  • Mix techniques from all exercises – marking making on an inked plate; drawing onto the plate; back drawing; stencils.
  • I’ve attempted to make and use a gelatin plate in the past, as part of the printing project of A Creative Approach (13-April-2012). That went very badly and was soon abandoned. I ignored that experience and researched from scratch but came back to the same technical resource, Linda Germain’s website http://www.lindagermain.com/. Detailed information on her method of making a gelatin plate is available via a simple free signup. This time the recipe was adjusted to include glycerin and I used a new (non-rusty) pan, achieving a plate with just a few small flaws.

    Germain and the Akua website both advised that the Akua intaglio inks I’ve been using were not suitable for a gelatin plate. I chose to purchase some akua liquid pigments – diarylide yellow, quinacridone red and phthalo blue. These pigments were originally developed specifically for monotype printmaking and among other benefits can be used for colour mixing with the intaglio range.

    Print p4-76

    Print p4-76 layer 1

    Print p4-76 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    First steps using the akua liquid pigments were to familiarise myself with the new medium and new colours. I started with yellow, building up multiple layers on ink on the gelatin plate, using a couple of drops of retarder in the initial layer as recommended on the akua website.

    I used torn strips of newsprint as a stencil to create lines, then printed onto cartridge paper using a brayer. I got good, smooth colour. The edges are crisp between the newsprint-masked and unmasked areas, possibly because there is some give in the plate.

    Print p4-76 layer 2

    Print p4-76 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    For the second layer I used quinacridone red, again adding retarder on layer 1. Despite waiting some minutes before adding the second layer of pigment the roller picked up the first layer as I was working. The weather was quite mild that day, perhaps low 20s celcius, and I’ve read that the gelatin plate can slow drying of paints. I have not used retarder in later layers.

    Torn newsprint was used as a mask, with some care taken to ensure areas of pure yellow, pure red, unprinted white, and mixed yellow and red.

    I like this combination of colours, although for a final stripe design I would want to break up that rather heavy red and orange area towards the left. Just a thin squiggle of white would bring a spark of life.

    Print p4-76 layer 3

    Print p4-76 layer 3
    Click image for larger view

    The third layer was printed using phthalo blue with newsprint strips as stencils. An interesting mix of colours resulted. The blue is very strong. Given the red used is more a soft purple-pink, it mixed to a purple blue. A very dark green resulted from the yellow and blue mix. The three colours come together in an inky blue purple.

    If trimmed the print is bright, interesting, lively irregular stripes. I think it would be successful as a printed textile length and can imagine a child’s summer dress made from it.

    However I wanted to relate back to my fish jug theme and to push further. The concept was to use fish stencils, thinking of colourful tropical stripes, and deepen the colour around to highlight them. I then intended to use back-drawing to create elegant flowing lines, the incomplete outline of the jug, with the fish swimming onto and off it. I would have the striped fish, a deeper medium value background, and the darker lines of the jug.

    I started with the gelatin plate rolled in red and fish stencils placed.

    Print p4-76 layer 4

    Print p4-76 layer 4


    My complex plan hadn’t taken into account that the new layer of the soft quinacridone red would only marginally deepen the red areas already printed and would not show up at all on the darker, richer colours. There is some patterning, but basically it just dulled the lively stripes already achieved. In addition the whole thing was getting too busy, with too many ideas. The original stripes were too strong to work with such clumsy additions. I didn’t continue to the jug stage of the plan.
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    Print p4-77

    Print p4-77 layer 1

    Print p4-77 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 1 is the ghost of layer 1 of print p4-78. Before removing the paper strips I used some waste newsprint to pick up some of the colour remaining on the plate, hoping in the ghost to get more differentiation between masked and unmasked areas (rather than a thin outline of the border and similar colouring on both sides). However on the ghost print I got almost no colour from the areas originally masked. Virtually all colour had transferred to the masking strips themselves.

    Print p4-77 layer 2

    Print p4-77 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 2 is the ghost of layer 2 of print p4-78. The whole page looks looks like shades of orange, with no white remaining.

    At this point it’s not particularly interesting.

    Print p4-77 layer 3

    Print p4-77 layer 3
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 3 continued the pattern, the ghost of layer 3 of print p4-78.

    The whole page is shades of blue, but quite interesting blues with a kind of dirty glow from the complementary orange beneath. This seemed a good background to accept the addition of my earlier plan for fish with jug outline.

    I decided to experiment with a stencil technique seen in a video on Linda Germain’s website. Colour is rolled on the plate. A different colour is rolled onto the stencil, which is then placed ink-side down on the plate. The print paper is placed on and pressed, getting the background plate colour and voids in the stencil areas. Next the print paper is lifted just enough to allow removal of the stencils without shifting the overall position of the paper, and pressed again. The final print should have excellent registration, with different colours in background and stencil areas.

    In previous samples the newsprint stencils picked up almost all the colour beneath and copy paper stencils absorbed the major part of the colour. Wanting to leave as much colour as possible I decided to make stencils from freezer paper and use the plasticky, presumably non-absorbent side down. A secondary purpose was to find a thin but longer-lasting stencil material.

    I rolled quinacridone red on the gelatin plate and pyrrole orange onto freezer paper stencils, cut to fish shapes based on the inspiration jug. Little rings of machine-embroidered lace placed as additional stencils, to suggest air bubbles.

    Print p4-77 layer 4

    Print p4-77 layer 4

    The registration of the fish is very good using this method. There is a fine, even boundary of blue around each shape due to the fairly thin freezer paper used.

    The orange of the fish is textured, presumably due to the orange liquid pigment smooshing around on the non-absorbent plastic coated stencil during the initial press. The texture created could be interpreted as watery, so in keeping with an underwater fish theme. The stitched rings were quite thick and the open centres didn’t print. They have given a clear blue bubble look which links well to the textured blue areas in the fish. The soft red used has mixed to give a blue to violet background, marred by roller lines in the colour.

    I find the result intriguing. It doesn’t work as a standalone image. There is no focus and insufficient variation in value. However there is a lot of interest, I would say even beauty, at the detail level. If I was actually developing a design, as in my initial premise to this extension work, this print would be taken through the Sorting stage as having potential for further development.

    I did not act on the jug outline idea. Possibly it would provide the focus and variation in value that the image lacks, but I just can’t see it. If I wanted to go ahead with that I would want to add a jug stencil when the fish background was added, to preserve the original background and differentiate jug and non-jug areas.

    The freezer paper stencil curled tightly after use. Pressed flat during drying it could be used again in another session, but it’s not really suitable for multiple uses in the same session.
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    Print p4-78

    Print p4-78 layer 1

    Print p4-78 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    I wanted to make a comparison of the two printing plates, so rolled out the same ink on my standard etching plastic plate and again used torn newsprint strips for masking. I unintentionally put on a lot of ink the first layer, so did not add more. I took the print on cartridge paper, pressing hard with a baren. Very little ink came onto the paper and the colour is very light. Given this the boundary between masked and unmasked areas is soft and undefined.

    Print p4-78 layer 2 detail

    Print p4-78 layer 2 detail

    Print p4-78 layer 2

    Print p4-78 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    A couple of later layers were added, ghosts of layer 4 of print p4-77. The result is overall a pale, bland mottling with little definition.

    The rings look like some kind of pox, with a red centre and a red border. However there is something about the combination in the detail shown above, where I think a stencil had been reused with some colour still on it, next to a stencil leaving a void. For me there is a tentative communication of here and not-here, which could be interesting in the right context.

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    Print p4-79

    Print p4-79

    Print p4-79

    I used a small bristle paintbrush and the akua liquid pigment and drew a fish onto etching plastic. A baren was used lightly to take the print onto cartridge paper. The printed fish is quite light, but I like the quality of marks created and I found it easy to move the brush over the plate.

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    Print p4-80

    Print p4-80 layer 1

    Print p4-80 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    This print was an experiment using akua intaglio inks on the gelatin plate. This was advised against by both my sources, but I wanted to see the results myself. I used a couple of drops of blender to loosen the ink, then tried to roll it on. It just wouldn’t stick cleanly. It picked up, it textured, it just didn’t work at all.

    Newsprint torn strips were used as a mask, and cartridge paper to take the print. I was intending to take a back-drawing. Wherever the paper touched the plate it picked up the colour immediately, with no pressure applied at all.

    Print p4-80 layer 2

    Print p4-80 layer 2


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    A brief illness forced a break in my explorations at this point. More than a week later I returned with energy for just a short final session for this project.

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    Print p4-81

    Print p4-81 layer 1

    Print p4-81 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    In print p4-80 I experienced anticipated problems using the akua intaglio ink on the gelatin plate. I wanted to push this further as it would allow greater flexibility in colour mixing. I have a set of red, yellow and blue in both products, but different reds, different blues, and slightly different yellows. On this layer I used the intaglio yellow again, but applied it to the gelatin plate using a silk screen and squeegee. The screen lifted off cleanly and I had a fairly even but rather thick coverage of ink. With a little practice and refinement I think this could be an effective alternative to rolling when using problem inks. As a further experiment in colour distribution I used a home-made dabber of polyester fill covered by felt. This added some potentially interesting localised texture to the yellow.

    On the left of the photograph is the plate, complete with garden weeds as stencils. The print on the right is on cartridge paper. The patterning has a lovely bold, organic character, linear but rich, which pleases me.

    Print p4-81 layer 2

    Print p4-81 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    On the second layer more plant material and some fish stencils. This time the stencils were cut from bristol board, a thick, smooth 180 gsm card. The phthalo blue was rolled quite thinly, as I didn’t want it to overwhelm in the colour mixing as in print p4-76.

    There is a texturing where the blue overlays the yellow – potentially due to the different ink types (akua intaglio under liquid pigment), or to the thick yellow not being entirely dry.

    The patterning is very busy, and all the colours jostle for attention. My initial plan for this print was a variation of the same plan as print p4-76, and it seemed that once again I was trying to do too much in a single print.

    I decided to go ahead with the next intended layer of red on the fish areas. The print as it stood was unsuccessful and if the red didn’t help it would just be a different kind of fail. I used the negative stencil of the fish used in layer 1.

    Print p4-81

    Print p4-81

    I see this as a save. The noise of layer 2 has been sent to the background with the fish the clear focus of the image. The stencil was just a little misplaced, giving a purple trailing edge to the fish moving through the water – a happy accident. The border around the fish is quite wide, presumably related to the thickness of the stencils. For the two larger fish this results in a leading edge of yellow, fortunately not complicated by any weeds, which further supports the visual dominance of the fish and their sense of movement. The weed areas are a background relatively low value blue, or a mix of yellow and white which clearly sit behind the pink fish and therefore become a middle ground, although normally you would expect the yellow to push forward. All this combines to create a sense of depth in a graphic design. I should note that on my screen the photograph is misleading, with the blue and yellow much brighter than in life.

    The red on the fish is textured, mottled over the yellow as noted in the blue layer, and towards the edges there are what might be suction marks from picking the paper off the plate and covering stencil. I decided I liked the print as it was. The planned backdrawing of marks on the fish was unnecessary given the texture and pattern already achieved, and it would work against the graphic quality of the image. With so much happening adding any jug element was out of the question.

    I regard this as one of my more successful prints. It also has a number of features, for example the leading and trailing yellow and purple and the layering and depth of those complex weeds, which could be of great interest if actually working in design development.
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    Print p4-82

    Print p4-82 layer 1

    Print p4-82 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    This print is on newsprint, the first ghost from print p4-81. It was taken with the stencils still in place, to take up some of the excess ink still on the plate. There is more white on the page and the yellow is a little less intense, a little less bold.

    Print p4-82 layer 2

    Print p4-82 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    The second layer was the first ghost of layer 2 on print p4-81. Once again the stencils were left in place. At this stage it appears a much softer version of the previous print.

    Unfortunately I didn’t take a photograph of the third layer, but once again it was the first ghost of layer 3 of print p4-81. There wasn’t much of the soft red colour left and the outcome was bland and unsatisfying.

    I decided it was time to action the idea of back-drawing to add detail on the fish. I rolled violet intaglio ink onto a glass plate and laid down the print paper. I used the negative fish stencil to give approximate shape and placement references.

    First I used a stencil brush along the lower edge of the body to add some shading and hopefully some volume to the basic fish shape. I used the wrong end of a small brush to add lines for fins, tail and on the body plus an indication of an eye. A peek showed the fish forms were still indistinct, so I tried to place a little more shading around the upper bodies. In the process an unfortunate splodge was added to the lower right corner.

    Print p4-82

    Print p4-82

    I regard the result as a messy failure with many points of interest and potential. I think the result would have been much better if I had pushed the back-drawing and shading further to give the fish better definition and to allow them to act as focal points unifying the image. This would have needed some greater accuracy in my working.

    The back-drawing that was done is a good mixture of soft shading and distinct lines which I think could contribute positively if I got the balance right. Again the photograph is more highly coloured than the original which is much softer and more integrated. There are some lines in the tail of the largest fish which I like and there is a fizz towards the right midway down where the blue didn’t cover the yellow, a great effect for a watery scene. There is also some background patterning that could be isolated and used in design development.
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    Print p4-83

    Print p4-83 layer 1

    Print p4-83 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    The first layer of this print is the second ghost print from layer 1 of p4-81, and here for the first time the stencil weeds have been removed. Using the newsprint p4-82 first means the areas previously exposed are now quite light and an effective foil to the stronger colour of the positive weed print. At this point there seemed a lot of light, life and energy in the image.

    I decided not to add a blue layer to this print. I wanted to move away from the complexity of the previous two images. Instead, the second layer was the second ghost of layer 3 of print p4-81, the first use with the stencil removed. Unfortunately I don’t have a photograph, but the result was a thin, crisp red outline of the fish shapes, not much change to the interior of the fish, and a rosy glow to the background area. Altogether it was insipid.

    I thought I would add some line, texture and definition to the fish by using the ghost of the purple back-drawing layer 4 of print p4-83.

    Print p4-83

    Print p4-83

    O dear! Perhaps this would have worked if I had used the negative stencil. You can with some effort see light lines on the fish, especially the larger one at the bottom, although badly registered. However all is lost in a unifying haze of violet.

    A definite failure.
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    Print p4-84

    Print p4-84 layer 1

    Print p4-84 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    More ghosting! The first layer of this print is the third ghost of layer 1 of print p4-81. It was the second taken after removal of the stencil weeds. The original line of the weed is now light with boundaries of yellow. There is still a reasonable amount of colour, a lot of movement, and it seemed a reasonable start for a print.
    Print p4-84 layer 2

    Print p4-84 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 2 is the third ghost of layer 2 of print p4-81, the second after the fish stencils were removed. There is a fine, crisp blue outline to the fish and slightly textured lighter blue on the body. The blue weed has some lovely definition and detail, and there is a lot of variation in depth of colour on different stems. The yellow is not well balanced and is harsh against the soft blues.

    Layer 3 on this print is red, the third ghost of layer 3 of print p4-81.

    Print p4-84

    Print p4-84

    There was little red left on the plate for the final layer. In places a fine red outline of the fish can be discerned, but it is faint. In the background the red can hardly be seen, but it acts to knock back the white of the paper and integrate the image. Overall the end result is mediocre, not a success, not a total disaster, not providing any particular insights to take forward.
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    Print p4-85
    The description of multiple layers and so many ghosts may be getting repetitive and confusing, but this print is quite simple. One layer, the second ghost print of print p4-81, the first ghost with the stencil weeds removed.

    Print p4-85

    Print p4-85


    Print p4-85 detail

    Print p4-85 detail

    Simple and elegant in tones of blue and white. The outlines of the fish are quite complex, an internal white, sometimes a fine line, sometimes a wider area of very pale blue, and then an uneven shadow of darker blue all around.

    The weed is wonderful. I’ve included a detail of one of the very crisp, darker strands but there are also a couple of pale spikes that sit behind all. These and some bubbly texture give a level of variation to virtually the entire image. With this print I feel vindicated in my decision to experiment with the gelatin plate. The slight give in the plate allows fairly thick materials to be used to create texture with a great level of detail.
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    Print p4-86
    The final print of the session was actually made quite early, while I waited for the initials layers of yellow to dry on the other prints. This is an exploration of capturing texture and harks back to exercise 1 of this project, creating marks in a plate rolled with ink. All these marks were made by materials used in earlier assignments.

    Print p4-86

    Print p4-86

    In the image as seen:
    Top row: Left – fibreglass insect screen mesh. Right – pieces broken from cork tablemat.
    Middle row: Left – hessian. Right – thin plastic tablecloth, heat treated.
    Bottom row: Left – plastic braid. Right – corrugated cardboard.

    There are flaws in the print – I was working in a quick, off-hand way, filling in time. The cork is underwhelming, of interest mostly for the irregular edges. All the others could be very effective in the right context. These could be useful in future monotypes, but there is also potential for collatype printing, the subject of the next exercise.
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    At this point I will move on to the next project. In some ways it is disappointing. After a rocky start with monotypes I am feeling much more positive and confident about the recent results. I’ve made good progress on the goals listed at the beginning of this post. I’m beginning to experiment more, make my own tools, ask and answer questions, work fluidly in a series, respond spontaneously. The proportion of successes or at least partial successes to failures is improving, and while I understand that this course invites risk-taking and an acceptance of failure there needs to be a balance. Perhaps I should have moved more quickly through the structured exercises and spent more time combining techniques. This may be possible near the end of the assignment, but for now I need to keep moving or risk even my extended deadline.
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    Research
    My enforced rest period allowed some time for extra research on artists using gelatin plates.

    Ruth Alice Kosnick. One video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0jw3N7a0Go) shows work based on a large photograph of hands working at a loom, which is placed underneath the gelatin plate and used as a guide for placement of stencils and colour. Yarn and stencils of hands taken from the original photograph are used in different layers. Kosnick has a very free approach with colour mixing and placement, with the occasional mark-making into the inked plate. The results are lively and complex.

    In another video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uH6rkvsdko) a simple fish stencil is the focus of a series. The size of the plate has been carefully matched to the stencil size. Texturing materials create marks suggestive of nets and scales. Once again colour use and layering is of great interest, and the rough and ready approach to registration is appealing to me. In this case printing is just one step in the process. Kosnick uses drawing and painting to further develop the images, then collages them together to create the final artwork.

    Gerda Lipski. In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n7baCAFpe0 Lipski uses acrylic paints and a very simple stencil – a “stone”. Using colour mixing on the plate, limited mark making into the paint, layering and a central irregular circle stencil a wide variety of attractive with lots of surface interest is generated.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai1Vk0p7rZY uses brighter, clearer colours, basically a set of primaries. I saw this video after my initial work session (see above), and the colours appear very similar.

    Andy Skinner. This artist also uses complex mixtures of colour and many layers. As can be seen in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7mAJkcY45M Skinner makes extensive use of stencils. Skinner’s website http://www.andyskinnercrafts.com/ has links to tutorials on a wide variety of products and techniques useful in mixed media.

    T1-MMT-P4-p1 Extension with gelatin plate
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Extension with gelatin plate

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e4 Working with stencils (mostly)

    Sample p2-61

    Sample p2-61
    Click image for larger view

    Sketch 2015121

    Sketch 2015121
    Click image for larger view

    This exercise calls for working with stencils, requiring a simplified shape with no surface detail. I chose the jug previously involved in a series of wrapping experiments (22-July-2015). I traced the outline of a photograph using gimp, adjusting the handle shape to avoid an internal space.

    I printed the result a number of times on copy paper, and cut out the jug shape – initially using a scalpel, then one version carefully torn.

    All prints in this series were on white A4 copy paper.

    Print p4-68

    Print p4-68 layer 1

    Print p4-68 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    First I printed in a red mix of akua intaglio inks. The copy paper with a void jug shape was placed over the plate, then a print taken. The print is fine in that the shape is recognisable and there were no issues with tearing on the finer sections of the design. It is very static, and there is a problem in placement that is not apparent in the cropped process image.

    To create a second layer I inked the cleaned plate in blue, and used the cut-out jug shape as a mask over the red already printed. Getting the mask and the paper in the right position was tricky!

    Print p4-68

    Print p4-68

    The full image shows the poor placement of the jug in my original stencil preparation, much too high on the page.

    I deliberately rolled a solid base of blue for the jug to “sit” on, thinking back to issues with my still-life attempt in print p4-44 (11-November-2015), with light and broken colour in the top two thirds of the page. I think the idea is sound, but the high jug just floats in this attempt.

    When printing I pressed through the paper by hand, trying to ensure good transfer of colour around the edges of the stencil. The gap is uneven, suggesting inaccurate placement of the stencil, but there is no actual overlap. Perhaps with crisp, dry paper there isn’t the stretch needed to bend into the corner formed by the thin paper stencil.

    Overall this is not satisfactory as a print, but I find some good technical pointers.

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    Print p4-69

    Print p4-69 layer 1

    Print p4-69 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    This is the ghost of the previous print. The dark outline is the inverse of that little gap around the edge of the stencil. There is not much difference in the colour in the jug shape or the surrounds. Red in the jug area already printed on print p4-68. Red in the surrounds printed onto the paper stencil. Given I used similar pressure over the page as a whole in the initial print, the remainder left for the ghost is similar.

    This observation suggests two possibilities – experimenting with the thickness of the stencil material and the resulting gap, distortions etc; and varying pressure in the initial print. There is no need for colour on the stencil, so perhaps I can try to leave more, at least in parts, available to the ghost.

    Print p4-69 detail

    Print p4-69 detail

    Print p4-69

    Print p4-69
    Click image for larger view

    It’s not surprising given the reasoning above that the blue ghost is very similar to the red – a strong outline of the stencil shape and similar light colour from both the printed and the masked areas. Registration was slightly off, giving the doubled edge effect. If it was perfect there would be a single purple line. I find the offset more interesting.

    There is the same high placement issue with the jug on the page.

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    Print p4-70

    Print p4-70 layer 1

    Print p4-70 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    Wanting to avoid the placement problem I started this print with the background first. Once again the ink was varied on the plate. In the top two thirds the ink was rolled more thinly and unevenly to create broken colour. Ink was heavier across the bottom third.

    When printing I used back drawing to create some broad, flowing wave lines in the bottom third. This was based on my experience with the plastic grouting tools in print p4-66 (21-November-2015). Their flexible plastic was easy to move smoothly across the paper. I dug out a small plastic tool, I think originally sold to help transfer ointments between small pots. Re-purposed, it flexed rather than jerked as the line changed direction. I created three dark lines, then peeked and found them too crisp and stark, so used the stencil brush to get some lighter shading between the lines.

    For the second layer, adding colour to the jug, I placed the stencil underneath the plastic printing plate and rolled colour only where needed. Full disclosure – on the first attempt I had the stencil the wrong way around, so had to clean off and re-ink.

    To generate more interest I wanted two colours in the jug, and to keep the handle a single colour. Placing the stencil with the jug cut-out on the inked areas of the plate was straight-forward. Putting the print paper down on the plate was once again awkward, but reasonably accurate.

    Print p4-70

    Print p4-70

    I find more to like than to dislike in the final print.

    I was successful in correcting the jug placement, although the masks used still had the original problem.
    My new tool gave the broad wavy line I’ve been looking for.
    Pressing around the stencil by hand in the blue layer gave a darker edge which suggests a shadow and gives just a little depth.
    The blending of colours on the jug work, and I particularly like the transition which is quite smooth and not muddy.

    Print p4-70 detail

    Print p4-70 detail

    It’s not a print I would frame and hang, but for once I feel encouraged by my progress.

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    Print p4-71

    Print p4-71 layer 1

    Print p4-71 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    This is the ghost of the previous print. The first layer shows the impact of the back drawing combined with the masking. I think in drawing the wavy lines I must have used uneven pressure on the jug stencil area. This has left some uneven ink near the base of the jug, which I rather like as suggesting thicker glass at the base.
    Print p4-71

    Print p4-71

    Print p4-71 detail

    Print p4-71 detail
    Click image for larger view

    As a result of varying placement of the masks, plus multi-coloured, uneven and incomplete inking of the plate on the second layer, there is a lot of variation in the ghost. Registration could be seen as technically poor, but as mentioned above I like this effect in the ghost and see little value in perfect registration in these matched mask ghosts.

    The result is a much more dynamic and interesting print. There is variation in line, colour and value. The jug outline is still central and the blue outline static, but the lighter line in red and green creates movement. The central area of focus is reinforced by the additional colouring. When transferring the jug colours in the previous print pressure was focused on the jug area. In the ghost the jug is lighter than its surrounds, allowing it to stand in front of a slightly darker background.

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    Print p4-72
    Pleased with the success of my new plastic tool, I wanted to be able to vary the width of my broad lines. I cut a strip from an old plastic membership card, and slightly rounded the corners to avoid a catch point.
    Following up the blended colour of the previous prints, I rolled the plate with a combination of the blue, red and green that were on the work area.
    I am in the process of researching Paul Klee’s traced prints, and this quick, spontaneous back drawn print shows a slight influence of that.

    Print p4-72

    Print p4-72

    Print p4-72 detail

    Print p4-72 detail
    Click image for larger view

    The lines created with my new tool, the whole genesis of this print, can be seen in the lower right corner. The jagged lines on the left used a fine-toothed grouting tool. Birds and bird-house were drawn with a metal skewer – I feel it gave a firmer, finer line than the wooden tools I have tried previously. The clouds were finger-pressed.

    As an image it doesn’t quite work. I think you can see I started by experimenting with tools then felt I had to fill some gaps with something. So the composition is clumsy and two of my baby birds seem to be tumbling to the ground.

    Still, I like the variation in colour. It gives a simple scene some vitality. I like the variation in lines and texture. The process was free and fun and I think the energy shows.

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    Print p4-73
    This is the ghost of the previous print.

    Print p4-73

    Print p4-73

    Print p4-73 detail

    Print p4-73 detail
    Click image for larger view

    The colours look fine. The overall composition has similar strengths and weaknesses. The white lines just don’t work for me.

    I wonder if this is a candidate for re-working with pen. I could add some extra details, perhaps vary the line or colours. I’m not currently enthused but may come back to it.

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    Print p4-74
    The earlier jug masks were cut with a scalpel with a clean, smooth line. Thinking back to the tearing exercises of assignment 1 (see for example 26-April-2015), I wondered what impact torn edges would have in a stencil. In this print I used a red background, again with uneven colour. The jug was blue and green still on the work area, mixed on the plate.

    Print p4-74

    Print p4-74

    The registration is quite good. I’d started to take advantage of the see-through print plate, placing it onto the paper and then turning the bundle over to press. The colour mixing is dull and the uneven line isn’t effective to suggest the smooth glass jug. The jug and background colours are too close in value, making the result very flat.

    However I feel the line itself has a lot of interest and character – it’s just not suitable for this application. I am mindful of the exhibition of Julie Paterson’s work seen earlier this year (13-September-2015). Paterson frequently uses torn or cut paper stencils with screen printing as part of her design process. I think it could be very productive to use some of my assignment one samples as stencils in print-making.

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    Print p4-75

    Print p4-75

    Print p4-75


    The ghost of the previous print. With all its imperfections, it excites me.
    Print p4-75 detail

    Print p4-75 detail

    Print p4-75 wider view

    Print p4-75 wider view
    Click image for larger view

    Here the uneven line, wobbly and provisional, comes into its own. It sits hesitantly on the page, blurred, inconsistent. The two layers are far from aligned, creating a visual vibration. They fill the space well. I struggle to focus, to see what is there, and pick up details that don’t fit together.

    I’ve included a thumbnail of the whole page – full disclosure of my messy work. The red lines at the bottom are annoying, but I like the breakout of blue on the right margin. This is a force that is going somewhere.

    I can quite understand people seeing this as a messy nothing, a failure. But it speaks to my interest in boundaries, in open possibilities and uncertainty. It isn’t flat. It can’t be taken in at a glance. It has personality.

    break
    Having done the basic monotype exercises I now have the opportunity to mix them up and take my printing explorations a bit further.

  • The course notes suggest looking at Paul Klee, using blocks of colour and quirky back drawing (a touch of that above).
  • I could use some of the assignment 1 samples as stencils, working in a more fluid and spontaneous way.
  • I’ve read up on gell printing plates, and also a home-made version using jelly and glycerin. It seems to support a more textured, informal, layered approach and could be an interesting contrast to the hard plate and surfaces I’ve been using.
  • I’d like to take my jug motif further. There are some interesting surface designs on the original, which could be used as a basis for back drawing and stencil combinations.
  • These aren’t all mutually exclusive. I’ve made working through the exercises, ticking the boxes, a laborious process. I’m hoping to find a mix which makes monotype printing work for me.

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e4 Working with stencils (mostly)
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 4: Working with stencils
    Working with stencils (mostly)

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e3 Back drawing continued

    Print p4-62

    Sample p2-73

    Sample p2-73
    Click image for larger view

    The plan:

  • Continue using printmaking as a way of exploring other work – in this case wrapping sample p2-73 (28-July-2015)
  • Multiple layers with improved registration
  • Use varied mark-making to express the different materials in the original sample
  • Use lighter paper – in this case 80 gsm copy paper (thanks to Karen for that suggestion)
  • Print p4-62 layer 1

    Print p4-62 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 1 shows the ribbon. I mixed just a little violet into the yellow rolled onto the plate. Colour was transferred pressing with my finger for a broad and soft line. Wanting a little more definition I also used a tapered colour shaper.

    Print p4-62 layer 2

    Print p4-62 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    Layer 2 represents the wide, flat cable wound around in the sample. Attempting with a variety of wooden shaping tools, I couldn’t get the broad, smoothly flowing line I intended. My experiments with different tools held at different angles are jagged and jarring.

    Print p4-62 layer 2 a

    Print p4-62 layer 2 a
    Click image for larger view

    I took the ghost print (see next print), then used the plate one more time. The idea was to bring the image together, reducing that jumble-of-lines effect.

    As well as lightly rolling all over with a brayer, I used my finger to give some shading to the yellow of layer 1. While I think the print as a whole was improved, the multiple peeks and replacing of paper and plate has led to registration issues.

    The final layer was violet, in fine, sharp, jagged lines to represent the black synthetic horsehair in the sample. It still looked very stark, so I added some extra shading along the original ribbon lines by soft pressing with my finger.

    Print p4-62 detail

    Print p4-62 detail

    Print p4-62

    Print p4-62
    Click image for larger view

    My various interventions improved but did not save the print. That red line is too messy, too plonked ungracefully in the middle. Looking back at print p4-61 (14-November-2015) I should have expected this.

    Looking at positives, I like the way the ink sits on the copy paper. The crisp white brings light to the colours and the smooth surface in some way allows the print itself to have more depth. At the detail level the shading with finger-pressed red is attractive without being intrusive.

    Reflecting now, I wonder if I’d get a better result using more of a green in layer 1, providing a balance to the red. I could also reduce the amount of red, making it a point of interest in just one corner of the image. I’ll park that idea for now, as it might be more appropriate later when I combine monotype techniques.
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    Print p4-63

    Print p4-63 layer 1

    Print p4-63 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-63 layer 2

    Print p4-63 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-63 layer 3

    Print p4-63 layer 3
    Click image for larger view

    This print is the layers of ghost prints from p4-62, printed onto 100 gsm white cartridge paper. On layer 1 I used a brayer first, then followed with the baren to get some extra colour. I was using 100% akua intaglio ink, no extender and no blender added, to get colour as rich as possible and to reduce accidental transfer during back drawing.

    The second layer, in red, looks much less clumsy in the ghost print. Partly the colour isn’t as strong and solid, but I think also the layering with larger areas of yellow underneath is more interesting.

    However with the addition of the third layer I was less satisfied. Perhaps the print could provide an interesting background to something, but the overall effect was indistinct and dull. I attempted to add at least a little interest by doing some more backdrawing and varied pressure using palm and fingers without adding any extra ink to the plate.

    Print p4-63

    Print p4-63

    Many of my prints seem to end as overall vague patterning – dull. The process did lead me to some close observation of the original joining sample, so it is effective in that sense.
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    Print p4-64
    Print p4-23

    Print p4-23
    Click image for larger view

    I refined my plan for the next two prints:

  • Even lighter paper – a japanese rice paper.
  • Using a previous print as my source material. This is print p4-23 (25-October-2015). In my original post I noted that the detail in this print was easy to overlook, dominated by the major line. Could I see something new by creating a print interpretation of the print?
  • Varied mark-making would remain key
  • Print p4-64 layer 1

    Print p4-64 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    There was still just a little violet left on the plate from the previous print. I decided to use this to create the first layer. This didn’t provide a lot of colour, but gave some texture and variation to the print area.

    The second layer was yellow. In previous prints virtually all my mark-making was blind. The tools I used might slightly emboss the back of the paper but none left a drawn mark so placement or repeats of line were very approximate. This time I drew a rough line first on scrap paper, then traced over that while back drawing. The initial line was traced with the wrong end of a paint brush, sometimes backtracking and repeating when I accidentally left the line.

    Print p4-64 layer 2

    Print p4-64 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    Peeking, I like the stranded effect so I repeated the tracing multiple times to build up a network of marks. The photos I take while working are on my tablet and in awkward lighting so not great quality, but below you may get a sense of what was interesting me.
    Print p4-64 layer 2 detail

    Print p4-64 layer 2 detail


    The next layer was a red-violet mix. I wanted to surround the network of yellow with more solid lines of colour.

    I tried a number of wooden shaping tools but couldn’t get the width and solidity I wanted. There are areas of back and forward scribble, of little overlapping loops, of finger nails, skewers, chopsticks… The outlines looked awful, so in a flurry I started scribbling down the centres and lost my lovely yellow network.

    Print p4-64 detail

    Print p4-64 detail

    Print p4-64

    Print p4-64
    Click image for larger view

    The lines were looking very messy and stark. I used a stencil brush, tapping over and near the lines. I really like the light mottling effect this created, and it’s a technique I am likely to use again.

    Working on the light paper was helpful, as after a time I could see the overall lines through the paper. However the paper really needs a backing to bring more light and give a clear view of the marks.

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    Print p4-65

    Print p4-65 detail

    Print p4-65 detail

    Print p4-65

    Print p4-65
    Click image for larger view

    This is the ghost of the previous print, and is also on rice paper. While still not a great result I prefer this print.

    The darker background gives a better sense of presence on the light paper. The complexity of the network of lines is clearer and unified, being a mix of yellow (the gaps in the lines of the previous print) and white.

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    Print p4-66
    Wanting to experiment with printing on a more distinct background, I chose a page from an old harmonica instruction manual.

    Print p4-66 layer 1

    Print p4-66 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    Responding to the strong repeated lines, I used plastic grouting tools of varying sizes to create my marks – one of the tools can be seen in the bottom corner of the photograph.

    I’ve read a number of times that it’s best to start with a light colour, and I realise on reflection that I have accepted this as a given rather than experimenting. However in this case I mixed red into the yellow which makes it visually stronger, although still quite transparent. I think the old, dense, soft and absorbent paper could be a factor, plus the stiff but flexible plastic was easy to drag across the page with a quite heavy pressure. Perhaps I can make a tool that would assist with broad flowing lines, like the ones I wanted in print p4-62 layer 2.

    Print p4-66 layer 2

    Print p4-66 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    In the second layer I used narrower notches and the red which has caused issues by dominating some earlier prints. It was rolled slightly thinner on the plate plus the overall pattern of lines doesn’t pull the eye in the same way. In addition the strong music print on the original page remains the main interest.

    The registration on this layer is particularly poor. Although nominated as a focus for the work session my results have not improved. When drawing up a template on gridded paper I confirmed that my original plastic plate was not a true rectangle – not all corners were square or sides straight. I tend to lose focus and get a bit messy as a work session progresses, and finally printing is unforgiving – a careless moment and the result is changed.

    Print p4-66 layer 3

    Print p4-66 layer 3
    Click image for larger view

    The third layer, in a red-violet mix, is an example. From my sequence of photographs I can identify when that unintended mark top right appeared. However I have no idea what happened. One response would be to push for heightened awareness, to cut new plates, make new templates. I would prefer to move towards more spontaneous, forgiving methods, where accidents are opportunities and not ruination. Through these exercises I admire good print-making, craftsmanship as well as composition etc, much more. But I don’t aspire to it. I would prefer to find methods that fit more naturally with my own style, that I can turn to my own purposes.

    Print p4-66 preparation

    Print p4-66 preparation
    Click image for larger view

    I had intended a fourth layer, darker again, in finer lines. At this point I decided that would be counter-productive. Some focus was needed. Wanting to link to the original material on the paper, I did a quick sketch of a woman playing a harmonica, based on a photograph in the harmonica manual. You can see I worked on the same page used during print p4-64. I traced over this to create the final layer.
    Print p4-66

    Print p4-66

    The drawn lines are lost in the final print. There is too much going on, the page is messy, and I really needed to make a better sized plate that worked with the original page layout. Cropping around the printed area is more satisfactory, removing distractions and focusing the eye.

    Print p4-66 detail

    Print p4-66 detail

    I like the mixing of colour at the detail level, although I don’t think anyone could tell that the dark area over the lower face is cupped hands around an harmonica.

    Printing on old book pages has many possibilities. This paper was nice to work on, and there could be many books with more interesting layouts.

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    Print p4-67
    The final print is the ghost layers of p4-66, printed on rice paper.


    The build up of colour is attractive if not exciting. Perhaps using different colours it could suggest something like crocodile skin.
    Print p4-67

    Print p4-67

    The final print is … bland, odd. No major highs or lows.

    break
    On some level I scored on a number of my goals for this work session.

  • Working from both a three dimensional sample and a previous print, I was able to observe them more closely, to consider form, colour, contrasts of materials and textures.
  • Registration of layers didn’t improve, but my attitude to it has refined. I would like to have more control, so that when I break “rules” it is clearly a deliberate, considered choice rather than a sloppy accident. However precise, controlled, refined print-making is not my end goal. Where appropriate I will attempt to improve my techniques, but that remains a subsidiary task.
  • I introduced a number of new tools for mark-making. The stencil brush and my own hands and fingers hold a lot of promise. I also have some ideas for making a tool that helps with broad, more flowing lines.
  • Copy paper and rice paper provided interesting results and I’d like to continue with both. Old books could be a wonderful resource, although I find it a wrench to destroy any book, no matter the content or how many decades it has languished on a shelf.
  • None of the final images excite me. Working through the exercises has given me some base techniques, but I think benefit will come with more experience and also with mixing techniques – starting with an idea and question and choosing one or more techniques, rather than being technique based. On my original schedule I planned to submit this assignment on 21 December. However my tutor will be taking a break over the Christmas / New Year period. I’ve decided to continue with the exercises at my planned pace, but take some extra time at the end to mix things up.

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e3 Back drawing continued
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 3: Back drawing
    Back drawing continued

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e3 Initial back drawing

    Print p4-20

    Print p4-20
    Click image for larger view

    Back drawing or trace monotypes involve rolling the print plate with ink, placing paper on it, then pressing on the back of the page to transfer some ink on the front. I was excited about the potential in my search for energetic lines, but apprehensive given the accidental creation of print p4-20 (25-October-2015). In that I had intended to protect the inked plate with a piece of newprint placed on gently, but virtually all the ink transferred with no additional pressure.

    All the prints shown below were on white A4 110 gsm cartrige paper (with one exception), using akua intaglio inks, a 15 x 24 cm print plate (cut from a sheet meant for drypoint etching), a chopstick as drawing tool and a baren for the ghost prints.

    Print p4-52

    Sketch 20141114

    Sketch 20141114
    Click image for larger view

    My focus drawing was a brush and ink sketch done last year, not previously blogged. I did a number of “absolute beginner” workshops with Brenda Tye at the Art Gallery of NSW last year – pastels, coloured pencils, ink and watercolour. This sketch is based on some inspiration photocopies provided by Brenda, but I don’t have an attribution. Given the proportions of my plate I focused on the figure on the left hand side.

    My ink mix was similar to the last couple of prints – around 50/50 ink and extender, quite a lot of blender added, thoroughly mixed.

    Print p4-52

    Print p4-52

    The paper quickly soaked up the ink where-ever it touched. Looking very carefully a few lines can be distinguished, marginally more solid than the heavy mottling around them.

    Referring back to the akua website, I should have used the ink thicker, with no blender.

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    Print p4-53

    Print p4-53

    Print p4-53

    The next attempt used around 70/30 ink to extender, with no blender.
    Once again there was very heavy transfer of ink even in areas with no pressure used – and I was extremely careful not to touch or rest my hand on the paper where it was over the plate. The paper lifted and shifted slightly at the beginning, so I held it down on the left edge.
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    Print p4-54
    Perhaps it was the cartridge paper, too absorbent. I quickly did some backdrawing using dry stonehenge paper on the ink left on the glass rolling area.
    Print p4-54

    Print p4-54

    I tried to work very quickly, allowing no time for accidental absorption. There is a lot more variation in tone, but still a lot of unintentional transfer.

    break

    Print p4-55
    Perhaps the ink needed to be thicker. Looking to what I had at hand, I used akua tack thickener, which is intended to thicken akua liquid pigment rather than the intaglio inks I have. There is a “modifier mag mix” product available which would be more appropriate. Still, wanting heavier roll-up it seemed worth a try. The tack thickener was like runny honey and slightly loosened the ink if anything.

    Print p4-55

    Print p4-55

    The result is paler than seen here, but there is a glimmer of hope. The lines are clearer, there is variation in tone. There is still too much unintentional transfer, but it is reduced. The lines I can see look wonderful and free.

    Interestingly, I had mixed and used much less ink than usual. I have been trying to roll very thin layers of ink on the plate, but lots of thin layers trying to build a depth of colour. Was I using too much ink? Also perhaps the border lines I was drawing pressed the entire page down too much.

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    Print p4-56
    This print introduced two changes. First much less ink on the plate – still thin layers, but fewer of them, a mix of intaglio ink and extender with no modifiers.

    Secondly I omitted the border framing lines. Still wanting to fill space, I added wing effects to my figure. I tried to work quickly and not too densely.

    Print p4-56

    Print p4-56

    Print p4-56 detail

    Print p4-56 detail
    Click image for larger view

    I was, and remain, excited by this print. It is still patchy, the effect is totally uncontrolled, but there is variation in tone, a fine and energetic line, and I like the way my motif fits on the page.

    There is additional transfer of ink where lines run closely together, but perhaps with care and experience this could be used to positive effect.

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    Print p4-57
    I took the ghost print using the bamboo baren.

    Print p4-57

    Print p4-57

    There was still a lot of ink on the plate after the initial print. Although the colour isn’t solid I think for my purposes the lightly mottled effect works. There is a clear, fine, white line where the back drawing was done, with a rather blotchy effect in the areas of unintentional transfer.

    I would like to have a bit more control of tone overall to add to the interest of the image, but I’m happy with the consistent, energetic, fine lines. The figure (if you perceive it as that) is solid, still, but not static.

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    Print p4-58
    Next I introduced more colour, rolling in bands of red and blue across the plate. I turned it to a horizontal format, and as inspiration turned to the middle group of figures in my initial brush and ink sketch.

    I was interrupted at this point, and it was wonderful to realise how keen I was to get back to work now the initial frustrations seemed resolved and I could move on from technical issues to a wider exploration.

    Print p4-58 detail

    Print p4-58 detail

    Print p4-58

    Print p4-58
    Click image for larger view

    The image is quite unbalanced. I actually like it better upside down but have left the photograph in this orientation as a reminder to myself that a little more consideration and less spontaneity could be worthwhile.

    There are some areas of line that are light and varied, almost springy. I need to move beyond my trusty chopstick. There is very little accidental transfer away from the drawn lines. Lighter, faster rolling, fewer layers and not overworking in an attempt to get a totally even distribution is working well for me.

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    Print p4-59

    Print p4-59

    Print p4-59

    The ghost print, taken with the baren. The lines, the placement and filling of the page, the blending of the lines of colour all work well. The slight diagonals give movement without sliding off the page.

    I see three ladies knitting and chatting as they bob on their raft in the evening light, but I’m open to other interpretations.

    I’ve been cropping the images to show more detail, so it’s not apparent how crooked the printed area is on the page. When I was just trying to get an image I liked that seemed unimportant, but a little more care and craftsmanship is called for.

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    Print p4-60

    Sample p3-33

    Sample p3-33
    Click image for larger view

    It was time to use printmaking as a tool in developing my work. I brought out sample p3-33 (14-September-2015) as my sketch subject.

    I was thinking of layers in a few different ways. One was the exciting layered prints OCA student Claire achieved recently in a workshop with Gary Shinfield (her post). I’m very interested in the process of going from a sketch to overlaying different sections to create an abstract but coherent work.

    I was also intrigued by a comment Lottie, another OCA student, left about sculpting with time in a print “Layers of time on the glass plate” (her comment here, her blog here). Added to this was the exploration of space by Braque, whose work I studied during Understanding Western Art (9-February-2014). Even more, there is Duchamp’s study of gravity and the indeterminate nature of things in 3 Standard Stoppages, which could also be seen as a layering of time (14-December-2014).

    Print p4-60 layer 1

    Print p4-60 layer 1
    Click image for larger view

    A jumble of influences, but I decided to make two prints each of three layers, first yellow then red then blue. Rather than one page being three initial prints and the second three ghost prints I would mix them up. Each layer would be a line sketch based on the resin sample, but from different angles and different scales.

    Print p4-60 detail

    Print p4-60 detail

    Print p4-60

    Print p4-60
    Click image for larger view

    This print had the initial yellow line, the ghost of the red (I forgot to take a progress shot) and the final blue line.

    The is complex interaction of line and colour. It’s not quite right as a complete image. There’s a lot of noise and no coherence. As a tool for re-seeing and further understanding the original sample it was very effective. I also think there are multiple areas that could be isolated and used as the basis of further design development. The process was purposeful and exciting. I like the way lines fit and sometimes go beyond the print area. As a record of a process, an overlaid series of times and points of view, I find this very interesting.

    I placed the print plate and paper by eye and there is clear mis-registration of the layers. In one sense I don’t mind this, but it’s a distraction and complication that doesn’t add anything to the result.

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    Print p4-61

    Print p4-61 layer 2

    Print p4-61 layer 2
    Click image for larger view

    This detail shows the first two layers of the sibling print. I really like those lines. To me they have purpose, tension, a spring and point of view, bursting out of the print area as they try to describe the form of the resin “elephant”.

    Print p4-61

    Print p4-61

    Print p4-61 detail

    Print p4-61 detail
    Click image for larger view

    The third layer confuses the image. The registration issues are very obvious.

    My perception of depth is confused by this print in a way that I find slightly unsettling and unpleasant but intriguing. The red line seems to push forward – mostly. I would expect the mixed green to move backwards but instead the bottom yellow seems to be clambering forward over the overlaid blue. It doesn’t work, but I keep looking at it trying to understand it.
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    Thoughts for the next set of experiments:
    * set up a registration system
    * try different tools, different marks
    * attempt to shade by pressing areas by hand
    * I love working freely – drawing directly on the paper without being able to see the line or the edges of the plate is exciting. However I should attempt a more planned, controlled effect and see what it gives me.
    * different papers
    * different plates – what happens if the plate has texture?
    * layering / combining with other monotype methods.

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e3 Initial back drawing
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 3: Back drawing
    Initial back drawing

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e2 Drawing onto the printing plate continued

    Print p4-42

    sketch_20150914 b

    sketch_20150914 b
    Click image for larger view

    My initial attempts in drawing onto the printing plate (3-November-2015) involved areas of texture. Next I wanted to attempt lively lines, and chose as my inspiration an energetic and colourful sketch of a computer motherboard from assignment 3 (14-September-2015). That sketch began with a lively background including rough patches of gesso on kraft paper. The akua printing inks I’m using don’t contain dryers and need to be absorbed. Uncertain whether gesso would absorb, I decided to prepare 118gsm grey sketch paper with broad sweeps of light coloured conte crayon.

    I tried to adjust the consistency of the inks using akua blending medium, but wasn’t able to find a consistency and a drawing tool which supported the fast, lively lines I wanted. Nothing I tried held ink and released it in an ongoing line. Slow careful dabs with constant return to the ink pool was frustrating. Disappointed with a line from a cotton bud, I experimented by winding wool fibres around the end of a bamboo skewer – a little like beginning to spin. This held a bit more ink in a fairly fine line and was the best of a bad bunch.

    The print was taken on dry paper using the Ezicut press.

    Print p4-42 detail

    Print p4-42 detail

    Print p4-42

    Print p4-42
    Click image for larger view

    The ink appears to have adhered quite well and been absorbed by both the paper and the prepared colour. At the detail level there is some interaction between the media which may hold promise. I also like the movement and complexity in the green and blue-purple lines created using the edges of a paddlepop stick and credit card. The little red tadpole shown bottom right of the detail image also has some energy and variety.

    The use of the conte crayon holds promise too. It’s a kind of reversal of Degas’s drawing over monoprints, which is of passing interest and suggests further layering possibilities.

    The print as a whole is dull and static, fragmented and without a sense of purpose.

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    Print p4-43

    Print p4-43

    Print p4-43

    Print p4-43 detail

    Print p4-43 detail
    Click image for larger view

    This next print is very similar to the previous one, but the paper was sprayed with water before the print was taken. In planning I wondered if this would affect the interaction of conte crayon and printing ink.

    I experimented further with various amounts of wool on the skewer and did feel it was giving some control and a little better continuity in the lines. Printing on damp paper had the unfortunate effect of spreading my lines, losing the fluid movement I wanted. The conte crayon seems a bit more solid and less likely to rub off. The detail image highlights some colour mixing which I think is the best feature of an uninspiring result.

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    Print p4-44

    Print p4-44 detail 1

    Print p4-44 detail 1

    20140120 poster

    20140120 poster
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-44

    Print p4-44
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-44 detail 2

    Print p4-44 detail 2
    Click image for larger view

    For this print I chose to revisit a still-life composition that I attempted in a variety of media during the Understanding Western Art module (link).

    Incorporating techniques from exercise 1, I started by rolling stripes of colour over the entire area. Most of the other prints shown in this post are on A4 paper. This is A3 sized, working on the glass sheet (previously the top of a coffee table) that I use for preparing inks. Texture was created in the background by pressing a piece of hessian into the surface to lift some ink. Further texture came accidentally from loose fibres of wool left from my earlier experiments.

    The area that would be the bowl was then wiped entirely, while the bottle area was dabbed and scrapped for partial removal of ink. I wiped around the edges to neaten them and took the print on white cartridge paper using the bamboo baren.

    Next I added ink onto the plate, brushing on the bowl, brushing and scraping the bottle, and dabbing shadows. I realised I’d lost the depth and sense of a table top in the initial print, so added some dabbed shading to try to rescue that. I hadn’t set up any registration lines, but wasn’t too far off replacing the paper and printing the second layer.

    The overall result is clumsy and flat. I had a lot of trouble with the shoulders of the bottle. However I am happy with the screw-top of the bottle and the shadow behind it, seen in the detail image above. The mix of textures and colours works well.

    Simplified blocks of colour on the bowl, applied with a paint brush, have printed poorly but I think show potential for a strong, graphic approach. Unfortunately the overall coverage of ink is patchy and light, not at all what I wanted. The colour is insipid. The image seems lost between graphic, flat simplification and a more realistic depth, not achieving either. At this stage I was not enjoying printing at all.

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    Print p4-45

    Print p4-45

    Print p4-45

    Felt tip pens, sample p2-76

    Felt tip pens, sample p2-76
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-45 preparation

    Print p4-45 preparation
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-45 partial transfer

    Print p4-45 partial transfer
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-45 detail

    Print p4-45 detail
    Click image for larger view

    Next I chose another earlier sketch, this time from assignment 2 (3-August-2015), a felt tip pen interpretation of sample p2-76. This time the idea was to print using media that is good at lines – water-soluble crayon – together with printing inks that are good at areas.

    I drew the outline on the plate in crayon, and it was wonderfully freeing to just draw!
    It felt fresh and spontaneous and energetic – favourite words!

    I rolled and drew on printing inks using a mixture of tools, focused on movement and no longer looking for fine lines. Some of the ink went on quite thickly. When I printed onto damp paper (using the ezicut press), it lifted off with a squelch and a lot of texture – but no trace of my crayon lines.

    That’s not quite true – there are the faintest marks swirling on the top of the box and in the top plumes. Maybe. I’d only sprayed the white cartridge paper, and perhaps it wasn’t damp enough.

    Although not at all to plan, I quite like the result. Energy, texture, movement are all good. Although solid and centred there is a lot happening and it looks about to become airborne. The complementary colours with lots of neutral grey and white around them burst from the page. Being released from my hunt for fine lines freed me to create loose areas of rich colour.

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    Print p4-46

    Print p4-46 detail

    Print p4-46 detail

    Print p4-46

    Print p4-46
    Click image for larger view

    I still wanted those crayon lines. Without cleaning the plate I added more printing ink on top, mostly using brushes. I sprayed the paper more heavily, used the buren and then the press.

    The plume looks good, lines have transferred and there’s a sense of fireworks in part. However look what happened top left of the box – spreading, dissolving lines of crayon. Too much water this time, I think.

    Overall I see print p4-45 as more successful – even though further from my original goal.

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    Print p4-47

    Print p4-47 in progress

    Print p4-47 in progress

    Print p4-47

    Print p4-47
    Click image for larger view

    One more try with the crayon and ink idea. Perhaps putting ink on top of the crayon blocked the moisture and therefore printing of my lines.

    I rolled ink onto the plate in rough areas, then tried to add crayon. The crayon just skidded over the surface of the plate and ink. So I decided to split the process into two printings. I printed on dry paper with baren, with the result photographed above.

    Next I drew in more crayon on the unwiped plate. There was still some skidding, but dabbing with paper towels helped. I sprayed the front of the same piece of paper and printed with the baren.

    This is the least successful of this series of three attempts. The plume at the top doesn’t have enough space and it doesn’t have enough volume with just the lines and no areas of ink. On the other hand the slowly refined mixed media technique is improving.

    Overall I think this isn’t the right approach for the expressive lines I was seeking. Backdrawing in the next exercise could be a better approach.

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    Print p4-48

    Print p4-48

    Print p4-48

    Print p4-48 in progress

    Print p4-48 in progress
    Click image for larger view

    Refocusing on the idea of printing as a background or one step of a longer process, I experimented with creating a textured, layered background.

    The plate was rolled with blue, green and brown, both flat and with pieces of bracken underneath, achieving a mottled effect with traces of organic shapes. It was printed onto damp cartridge paper with the bamboo baren.

    I then rolled colour onto the fresh plant material and stamped directly onto the page.

    While ultimately it would depend on the specific purpose, the result looks too complex to provide a good background. It also looks familiar, something I’ve done in the past.

    break
    Print p4-49

    Print p4-49 detail

    Print p4-49 detail

    Print p4-49

    Print p4-49
    Click image for larger view

    The previous print resulted in a lot of pattern in ink on my large glass work area. I printed this on a piece of rice paper, 30 x 27 cm, repeatedly laying the paper on the inked glass and pressing gently.

    I then made one more attempt at a simple drawing onto the printing plate – in this instance a cleaned area of the glass with the dimensions of the paper quickly marked on.

    Using akua ink, blending medium and extender, I mixed carefully, taking the time to make a flowing ink with all components as fully integrated as I could manage. I painted on the plate using bristle paint brushes, sketching the bracken which grows by the door, making marks that came naturally from the ink and brush, responding to my materials rather than trying to force them down a pre-determined path.

    It became an involving, much less frustrating, process. The printed result, made using the baren, has variety and interest without a strong image. I think it could be used as a background or embellished to emphasize certain lines or features. Painting more flowing lines wriggling back and forward for leaves, the mixed ink flowed well.

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    Print p4-50

    Print p4-50

    Print p4-50

    sketch 20131107

    sketch 20131107
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-50 detail

    Print p4-50 detail
    Click image for larger view

    For my final source I turned again to a sketch done during Understanding Art (link), looking at a jacaranda, thinking about patterning, and experimenting with colour.

    I again started by drawing lines on the plate with water soluble crayon, more as a base structure than a dominant part of the final image. I dabbed on blue across the top as a sky and rolled greens below which I textured with a bristle brush. I then mixed around four shades based on violet with added blue and red. These were stamped, brushed and dabbed over the plate.

    Wanting to give the crayon a good opportunity to print, I used damp stonehenge paper – soaked in water for 10 minutes then blotted dry in a towel. I printed using the ezicut press, which generally I’ve found gets more colour from the plate.

    Knowing my process, I can see elements of all that mark-making in the result. There are arcs of crayon across the page, heavily covered by the inks. The blue and green create some subtle texture and variation across the page. The blossom colours are all very similar and too dark and purple for jacaranda, but the placement with varying density across the page reminds me of looking into a blooming jacaranda tree.

    As an image the print has no focus and nothing to lead the eye or provide ongoing interest. There is depth and texture and variety which I think could be very useful as one input to a work.

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    Print p4-51

    Print p4-51 detail

    Print p4-51 detail

    Print p4-51

    Print p4-51
    Click image for larger view

    Using another piece of damp stonehenge paper and the ezicut press, I captured the ghost of the previous print. The result is a much gentler version of the previous mottling, with more obvious variation in colour across the plate. I think this could be a good candidate for overprinting in the next exercise, back drawing.

    break

    I did the work shown above over a few days last weekend and while also writing my previous post reflecting on tutor feedback. Reviewing the results above I’m beginning to feel myself again. I’ve experimented with technique, not to create a good print but to get an effect I wanted. When the result is unexpected I’ve tried to find opportunities in it. “What if” is returning to my mindset with a sense of adventure rather than desperation. The work is free-er, not ticking course boxes but taking advantage of an opportunity. There are more failures than successes, and I’m not ready to call any of them glorious, but relaxing, refocusing, suspending disbelief are all helping. I feel I’m developing resilience, a self belief and sense of purpose that holds up when things aren’t going smoothly. I wonder if this is accepting and even taking advantage of a different kind of “failure”. It’s not going well, look at the situation and find possibilities in it.

    I’m looking forward to the next exercise.

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e2 Drawing onto the printing plate continued
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 2: Drawing onto the printing plate
    Continued

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e2 Drawing onto the printing plate – three variations

    Sketch based on Monet's Poplars on the Epte Click for larger view

    Sketch based on Monet’s Poplars on the Epte
    Click image for larger view

    The instructions for this exercise begin by asking for a simple composition from my sketchbook. I have to admit my sketchbook work, so effective in the last assignment, has fallen apart. It was focused on recording and exploring my 3D samples, or else the dimensional works of artists I was researching. This approach hasn’t translated to working in print-making. The last exercise already felt like sketching and I haven’t got that important feedback loop happening. That will have to change.

    In the meantime I’ve been inspired by a painting in The Greats: masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland exhibition which recently opened at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). Fellow OCA student Claire (link) and I have been attending weekly lectures at AGNSW all year, with a variety lecturers focusing on paintings in the exhibition. We’re finally able to see the works themselves, so I was able to actually spend some time with Monet’s Poplars on the Epte before attempting to sketch out a highly simplified version as inspiration for this exercise.

    Print p4-37

    Print p4-37

    Print p4-37

    Print p4-37 detail 1

    Print p4-37 detail 1
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-37 detail 2

    Print p4-37 detail 2
    Click image for larger view

    This print uses Akua intaglio inks printed on 100gsm white cartridge paper using the Ezicut press.

    Blue was rolled thinly over the entire plate, then yellow, green (a mix of the blue and yellow) and a little violet was applied using a paint brush to form trees and bushes. Polyester fill that had been textured with a heat gun (Sample p1-67 21-April-2015) was used to remove ink unevenly from the sky area. The deep and varied texture of the polyester was very effective in suggesting random clouds. Some fine tulle was used to add texture to the tree and bush areas and to spread colour up into the sky and down into the water. Blue and violet was rolled onto clingwrap that had been pulled into linear folds. This was then pressed into the lower part of the plate to create a rippling water effect. Tree trunks and their reflections were suggested printing from the corner of a piece of styrofoam that had been painted with violet.

    I like this print very much. There is a technical problem on the lower right edge with a couple of blobs of blue ink, but otherwise I am satisfied with my techniques. There is a range of values, with overall good coverage of ink and the underlying colour of the paper playing its part. The different textures produced are each appropriate for suggesting the parts of the image. The limited colour range – just three inks – is cohesive but sufficiently varied for interest. The simplified composition and changed proportions are effective, graphic but still suggesting some depth in the landscape. I see it as a good modern interpretation of my source material.

    The textures and mixing of colours are interesting at a detail level and have potential to be developed at different scales or in different media.

    break

    Print p4-38

    Print p4-38

    Print p4-38 detail

    This is a detail of the ghost print of p4-37, taken on white cartridge paper using the Ezicut press and after rolling release agent onto the plate.

    Most of the ink had been taken up in the first print and overall the ghost is just a collection of blotches in a pale blue haze. However there is a bit more centre top and I like the grainy detail. You can see more of the blue that was rolled on behind the trees – an important element in the coherence of the earlier print.

    break

    Print p4-39

    Print p4-39

    Print p4-39

    Print p4-39 detail

    Print p4-39 detail
    Click image for larger view

    Although intending to continue the focus on exploration of the specialty printing inks, I decided to experiment with other media. This is the same base composition, drawn using water soluble crayons onto a sheet of acetate with a border created in masking tape. Printing was onto damp Stonehenge paper using a bamboo baren.

    I used a range of blue, green, yellow and purple crayons, varying textures with swirling marks in the trees and bushes, light long horizontals in the sky, and many shorter and overlapping horizontals in the water. To create the tree trunks lines were scratched into the crayon using a bamboo skewer, then drawn over in a range of browns. The tape border was removed before printing.

    There are some technical issues. Some extra wax was caught at the edges and should have been cleaned off. There are also flecks from loose fragments that could have been brushed off.

    The different textures don’t jell together. The swirls in the trees and lines in the water aren’t sufficiently differentiated. The drawn lines remain consistent in width without covering the ground paper and without enough variety. The sky just looks a scrappy scribble. There is more blending of strokes on the smaller trees and possibly this is worth pursuing. At the detail level I like the scratched marks and the way the brown crayon sits in them. I should explore/exploit this more if working again in this technique.

    break

    Print p4-40

    Print p4-40 detail

    Print p4-40 detail

    Print p4-40

    Print p4-40
    Click image for larger view

    I sprayed the plate with a mist of water before taking the ghost print on rice paper. The full image is unbalanced, blotchy and uninteresting. In the detail, I like the combination of grainy and watery textures. I would like to try creating this effect over a larger area, and perhaps with regions of different colours.

    break

    Print p4-41

    Print p4-41

    Print p4-41

    I tried the composition one more time, working in oil pastels on the acetate sheet, again creating a border using masking tape. Printing was onto cartridge paper.

    I attempted to improve technique by cleaning the border and brushing off loose specks, but without complete success. Texture was varied in the sky by blending the pastel with my fingers.

    I wasn’t able to get much colour transfer using the baren, so I tried pressing with a warm iron, thinking it would loosen the oil pastel. I did get more colour, but a lot was left on the plate. The heat buckled the plate. Attempting a ghost print was totally ineffectual.

    The finish of the print is beautifully silky-smooth. That’s really my only positive. Unless new inspiration strikes I wouldn’t bother with it again.

    However I am curious about some fabric crayons that I have. If time allows I would like to try a similar technique to draw and then transfer onto fabric.

    break

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e2 Drawing onto the printing plate – three variations
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 2: Drawing onto the printing plate
    Three variations

    T1-MMT-P4-p1-e1 Monoprint mark-making – exploring further

    I went out for my final session for exercise 1 with a prepared list of experiments and ideas. Naturally things changed as work progressed.

    break

    Print p4-27 plan

    Print plan

    Print p4-26
    First was an attempt at an advanced technique – viscosity monotypes. There was information on the technique on the akua website (www.akuainks.com/viscosity-monotype-working). The idea is to roll thin colour on the plate (not thin in the thickness of the layer, but in the fluidity of the ink), and make marks in it. Then roll thick, stiff ink over. The differing viscosities cause the inks to repel each other and you get distinct colours. I’d enjoyed printing clear complementary colours in the breakdown screen printing class (17-October-2015) and would love to do similar in a monotype.

    The plan is shown above – a central panel of red orange using the thin Akua liquid pigment, with a big squiggle cleared through it. Roll on the thick blue intaglio ink, which would fill the sides and the squiggle. Then make smaller squiggles in the blue to pull it all together.

    print p4-26 Cleaning the roller

    Print p4-26 Cleaning the roller

    Problem – when putting on the blue the roller picked up the red-orange ink. To avoid muddying colours I’d do a single roll, then clean the roller on a scrap piece of cartridge paper. After a few rolls the scrap paper looked interesting, but there was little of the orange left on the plate.

    I decided the scrap paper looked good enough to be its own sample.

    break

    Print p4-27

    Print p4-27

    Print p4-27
    The plate was printed on damp Stonehenge paper – 245 gsm, 100% cotton, using the ezicut press (8 layers of wool batting).

    All sorts of technical problems here. Most of the red-orange has gone. The blue is very uneven – I stopped inking very early, concerned about leaving any of the original pattern. There are probably all sorts of adjustments to the two inks that an experienced printer could attempt. Looking at it now I could have done extra rolling up the two sides and just a little less up the middle, but probably session 3 was just a little early to attempt this.

    On the other hand, even if not according to the plan I think parts of the print are really rather lovely.

    Print p4-27 detail

    Print p4-27 detail


    I can see myself layering up like this again to create complexity and depth in a work. Possible the “roll off” (see previous sample) could be done on the same picture in a different area.

    break
    Print p4-28
    The plan had been to do similar technique prints on damp and dry Stonehenge paper as a comparison. Given the damp print didn’t work out I decided to explore something else on the dry Stonehenge – breaking out of that confining rectangle.

    Print p4-28

    Print p4-28

    Print p4-28 flipped

    Print p4-28 flipped

    The entire plate was rolled with blue. Then a green mix was rolled onto a piece of non-slip drawer liner (previously seen in sample p1-69 and elsewhere). Next I followed up an idea from print p4-21 (25-October-2015), and used a cut piece of craft foam to lift some colour from the plate – lighter jagged edged areas lower left and top right. A chopstick was used to create a variety of lines reflecting the shapes already on the plate. Finally I used the craft foam again top right, first rolling it with green ink then gently pressing on to the surface. The print was taken using the ezicut press (8 layers of batting) onto dry Stonehenge paper.

    As a composition it doesn’t work. I’m having trouble getting my mind around the reversing in printing, so tried flipping the image on the computer. I prefer it that way, but it’s still visually uncomfortable. Perhaps something as simple as a little of the green in the drawn diamonds at the bottom would help pull it together.

    There are some pluses. The foam worked well both to lift and to add colour, and given it is so easy to cut that gives a lot of flexibility. I like breaking the rectangle, and the texture provided by the liner which is thin enough not to leave a huge gap of plain paper around it.

    break
    Print p4-29

    Print p4-29

    Print p4-29

    I worked hard on the ghost print to improve balance, and I think it is better but still not right.

    First I took the ghost print using a baren on cartridge paper, the liner being turned over and moved from its original spot. Both the foam and the liner were used as stamps a number of times. I really like some of the layering of texture and colour at the detail level.

    Print p4-29 detail

    Print p4-29 detail

    break
    Print p4-30

    Print p4-30

    Print p4-30


    In this sample I wanted to experiment further with paper. The print was taken on coloured lace fan paper backed by a piece of rice paper (which I’m presenting as print p4-31).

    Ink was rolled on unevenly in a sequence of colour blending from blue at the bottom to a yellow-green at the top. Cloth and a variety of wooden tools were used to create a landscape – ruffled lake in the foreground, bending reeds at the water edge, lesser detail of trees as the view receded to mountains behind. The ezicut press was used to take the print.

    None of the detailed mark-making is visible on the fan paper. Larger marks look more like accidental unprinted blotches. It’s now a few days later and the paper has absorbed the ink well, with clear printed colour on both sides. I thought a backlit view would be of interest, but the fan shape takes over and the colour is lost. The print could be layered over other materials, stitched into, perhaps even felted into. This could be very useful.

    break

    Print p4-31

    Print p4-31

    Print p4-31
    This is the rice paper used as a backing to the previous print. Unfortunately an extra smudge of ink was transferred onto it when I brought everything in from the garage. I need to allow more hanging time for all ink to be absorbed, and to recognise if there is excess that needs to be removed.

    Quite a lot of ink came through the fan paper. The colour is softly broken and I think quite attractive. More of the original mark-making is visible, as can be seen in the detail photograph below, but it is not effective competing with the strong fan pattern. If using this technique again it would be better to focus on colour play and omit mark-making.

    Print p4-31 detail

    Print p4-31 detail

    break
    Print p4-32

    Print p4-32

    Print p4-32

    I find it very satisfying to bring forward techniques from earlier in the course, and in this print I reprised the crumpled paper of assignment 1. This is 50 gsm bank layout paper, originally A3 but crumpled and spread to be roughly A4.

    I used a mixed green ink on the plate and made some broad and finer marks reminiscent of grass. It was printed using the ezicut press. The ink transferred quite well but there was some build up in a few creases and this was the source of contamination on p4-31.

    You may be able to make out the vertical marks that were made, but extra interest comes when the creases are gently stretched out.

    Print p4-32 opened

    Print p4-32 opened

    Print p4-32 opened detail

    Print p4-32 opened detail
    Click image for larger view

    Print p4-32 shaped

    Print p4-32 shaped

    Clicking on the photo to the left will give an even closer view. I find the broken pattern and colour very effective. The reverse side also has interest, the green still visible although subdued. Being two sided certainly makes the paper more versatile for further use. However I think you can’t go past the shaping introduced in the original crumpling exercise. I’ve tried it with an LED inside as a kind of lamp, which has potential with the right lightsource – the one I had introduced some unattractive hard shadow lines. External directional lighting worked better.

    Breaking the boundary of the rectangle and now moving out into three dimensions is very satisfying. I struggled to engage with the printing initially, but layering, colour mixing and now this is beginning to create a connection.

    break
    Print p4-33

    Print p4-33

    Print p4-33

    This is the ghost of the previous print, taken on rice paper using the ezicut press.

    There are some flaws – a crease in the paper and that dratted smudge. Of interest is the visibility of the original mark-making, augmented by the patterning created by the crumpling of the original print paper. This proves to be an excellent technique for creating an overall pattern. I also find the rice paper pleasant to print on, despite needing some care in handling. This could be a good candidate for the accidental marking seen on print p4-20 (25-October-2015).

    break
    Print p4-34

    Print p4-34

    Print p4-34

    This print is on A3 cartridge paper, and was produced in three separate pulls. The initial idea was again sourced from assignment 1, this time folding paper. Could I fold and print paper to create bands of pattern and colour, with a result that could be displayed to present different views from different directions?

    Print p4-34 folded

    Print p4-34 folded
    Click image for larger view

    A little thought and experimentation showed that three colours, or at least three pulls, would be needed to cover the paper with no overlap. Think of each folded unit as having a Z profile. The top bar presents for printing – in this photo blue (click on it for a larger view). After refolding, what started as the diagonal bar will be printed with yellow and the base bar with green.

    For this test I tried to be very simple and bold with mark-making, creating a series of broad lines with a different slope on each colour. The prints were taken using a baren and possibly I could have got more complete transfer with some extra manipulation. I should have waited longer between prints as there is some contamination of colours.

    Print p4-34 part unfolded

    Print p4-34 part unfolded

    Despite flaws the basic plan was sound. I have bands of colour which can be loosely folded to present different views. An extension of this could be any of the more complex folds which at least temporarily will sit flat. With refolding in different configurations some intriguing possibilities could be developed.

    break

    Print p4-35

    Print p4-35

    Print p4-35
    This is the ghost of the previous print – all three layers over-printed onto cartridge paper using the baren.

    I took a ghost print of virtually all prints made in this session, but haven’t presented those which were too faint or too streaky to be of interest. I like the one shown here quite a lot, at least in part because it seems like a folding of time encapsulating the process and larger space of the original print. Layering and complexity is important in my response to these prints.

    break

    Print p4-36

    Print p4-36

    Print p4-36
    This print was an investigation of the mark-making I saw in Degas’ monotypes (22-October-2015).

    Degas_ Woman Reading detailThe composition is based on the cropped detail I took, but the overall proportions are changed and the width of the shoulders has gone terribly wrong.

    Tools used were cloth to wipe areas and brushes (both ends) to make marks. The print is on rice paper and was made using the baren.

    I found this an absorbing exercise. I particularly like the clean wiped area of the light at the top, with the contrast to the denser colour even more effective with the broken lines around and extending from it. I also like the uneven surface of the brushed triangular area bottom left. The “solid” areas of colour are actually grainy, and I think this soft look is very effective on the light rice paper. There are some fragments of thicker ink that the brush left on the plate which I think detract from the result and the whole middle mess doesn’t work, but the combination of colours and method is pleasing.

    breakT1-MMT-P4-p1-e1 Monoprint mark-making – exploring further
    Part 4: Mono and collatype printing
    Project 1: Monoprinting
    Exercise 1: Mark-making
    Exploring further


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