Friday, November 25, 2011

Printing with the Brayer Demonstration.

I have started with the registration paper and markings which I think all printmakers practise.
The first sheet is the registration paper with the size of the printing paper marked then the size of the plate is marked on the edges to be able to align the plate.
All these marks are transferred to the BACK of the printing papers for the edition.

Registration marks. Of course these are all aligned one on top of the other for printing.

Plate in position minus the ink, I wasn't printing today so this is a "special" effort, a dry run .

And this is how it looks ready to print.

Caution should be practised with the application of pressure .To avoid  the paper slipping I apply gentle pressure with one hand while rolling the brayer across making sure every portion has been printed. It is a slow process  and I do lift it from each side , very carefully  to check the print.
I have used the baren to print but found it moved the paper especially with oil based inks, maybe I just need more practise with that!

No I don't have three hands  hubby helped here with this shot.I don't usually print at home in this fashion with large prints as I have access to a friends press.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Silkcut v Vinyl./ Reduction plus Stencil.

Experimenting again and I used for the first time the new vinyl plates in a workshop back in September , 22nd and carved the owl on the reverse of that plate. As it turns out it is my favourite plate/image so have used it constantly but realise I can't keep producing the one image.
My next challenge was to use it as a reduction plate which presented me with a few hurdles. Knowing that it "stretches" I needed to stabilize the sides during the process.This meant I could reduce the edges so took a clue from screen printing days and made my own stencils to protect the printing paper. Also I wanted to use two different colours and designs from this plate so had to bear that in mind as well.
To make my own stencils I printed off the image first and kept that as a template but made sure I used reasonably thick paper to cut them out so they would last a few editions.

Original Plate.

Inked Plate.

Inked Plate with Stencil Added.

The Print.

The background was printed with a light colour first from the same size plate and reprinted with a slightly darker colour,working with tonal value here.

Some detail on the head and the background colour isn't as grey as this looks.

Because I had inky fingers after a few runs I just place some paper over those areas to protect the printing paper.

Reducing the belly area. I only do this once a definite decision has been made especially as I wanted to reuse the plate in another edition and another colour.

Now I started rethinking design in the wings just to add interest. The best part of using stencils is if they don't work then I can reduce the plate, once cut away I can't replace it!!

The stencil ready to be placed on the inked plate. Note the arrow lower right corner , this is always part of the registration process and thinking reverse position too.
Stencil and printed plate and it wasn't necessary to ink the complete plate but enough to cover the areas I wanted to print and to hold the stencil onto the plate.

Here's the result of that print and not sure I liked it after all so now I can change it to the reduction method.

I missed the registering a bit here and when I inked the blue/black wings I inked the branch in green .
In the end it's about a 7colour reduction/stencil print and I am happy enough with it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tackling Tricks.

While working on a piece at home the brain was in overdrive, you all know what that feels like....
and to resolve a situation I found myself in I resorted to  what I call" trickery". These are little ways to help one out of a dilema and we come across them in many ways . I had two fine areas meeting and I wanted to print them in two different colours. Having thought about it for a long time and tried a few different "tricks" at home I decided to employ the use of brushes with oil based inks .
This is the first attempt applying the two colours.

Very carefully applying the last of colours pre printing.
I wasn't totally happy with the prints so chose to paint just the one colour and use the  small brayer as per normal for the other.

A very slow process to say nothing of an aching back!!
Once I printed from this plate it was easier with this process and I went on to print a reasonable edition. I know professional printmakers would have used this process anyhow but sometimes we need to work through ideas and "tricks" to find out what is best.It's all in the name of fun.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Experimenting,learning and having fun.

That's the name of the game.. right? well that's what I did a couple of weeks ago. After having admired a technique which I had read about and heard about before but never pratcised I put ink to paper so to speak. I bought one of those new double sided lino plates and inked it up minus any cuts. I must admit that I haven't practised the technique as per what I had read, I sort of changed it to suit my desire as I went along, sort of letting it develop as I went.

Fist I inked the plate in a light toned colour, printed it , cleaned it  mixed a darker colour and ripped some paper stencils. Then I reinked the plate in the second colour and placed it in position re registrations  marks as you do...., put the paper stencils on top of the plate, placed the printing paper on top and print.   Here's that result.. quite nice I thought so feeling chuffed at this stage. Moving on to.......

this,colur number three (the square shape) only because I liked some of the marking in this lino plate but felt the shape itself spoilt the design. But I kept going just to see what would happen and mixed a fourth colour for one of my favourite lino plates  the turtle, it pays to not destroy them sometimes as one can experiment with them.In the end it became a four colour print.Still feeling pretty good with my efforts I decided to have another go.

By now I  was hankering for a coffee so made one which was drunk when cold as was forgotten!
This often happens to my hot drinks when I am working.
Preprinting second colour with stencil in place.

Here I have printed the background colour, cleaned the plate , decided on shapes and cut out the stencil and placed over the second colour on the plate and printed that with this image that follows.

As we all know it prints in reverse.

At present I can see tadpoles which weren't part of the theme at the time.

Following through with my favourite plate I cut around the turtle to give a cleaner edge and inked it up in a darker colour, printed it and

there you have it.

Size of lino plate is 150mmx200mm so it's not a big print. Paper is Fabriano Rosapina white 220 g.
I used water based inks by Schmincke which I am enjoying .These were handpulled using an old brayer as my "press"
I like the easy cleaning for experimenting sessions compared to the slower cleaning process with oil based inks which I prefer for quality prints. Using this process I can sort any possible problems before attempting quality prints.