Saturday, 28 February 2015

Plan C

The more scanned drawings I added to the text the more it reminded me of old kitsch wallpaper (the sort with views of Tuscany interspersed with peppers and Chianti bottles). Time for Plan C

The object of the exercise was to experiment with the printer so I decided to see how I could use it to add text to pre-prepared papers. I made several different coloured surfaces using watercolour and water-soluble crayons on cartridge paper, and when dry I ironed them flat. 

Some work better than others, the salt is too busy 

but the cling film is really effective as a background.

I also revived the artwork from an old idea for a book. ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’ is meant to have the feel of traditional fairy story imagery, princesses and delicate colours, but if you look at the text that makes up the pattern on their dresses it picks out the qualities that seem to apply to the ‘heroines‘ of many fairy stories (eldest, youngest-the middle child never seems to do anything remarkable, kind, meek, dutiful-nothing wrong with them as qualities on their own but put together its a depressing role model for girls)
I printed some in black only to hand colour later....

and some in blue and pink as well. 

The Barbie colours fit the subject matter. The colour is miss registered which I quite like. It fits the disparity between the feel of the artwork and its commentary.

The printer uses soy ink which will take a while to dry completely before I can start to cut and assemble the books.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Plan B

I had thought of making the images in a similar way to ‘Rapunzel’ but it just wasn’t working so I’m working on Plan B

A few years ago I did some work photocopying charcoal drawings onto acetate and then placing them over simple flat underpaintings. Slightly misregistering the layers made the images more interesting. I’m going to try something similar with the risograph, taking advantage of the difficulty of registering colours exactly.

First the charcoal drawing.....
 Then using photoshop to add colour and layers...
And putting these under the text grid.
The image manipulation isn’t quite there yet but I’m confident enough (famous last words) to carry on making all the drawings.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

A New Book

I decided over the weekend that it would be a good idea to edition a book. A small one, because I want to print the pages for each one on a single sheet of A3. I’m going to use the riso printer and ideally I’ll use just two colours

I’ve chosen to use ‘The Laboratory’ by Robert Browning. I’ve liked his macabre storytelling ever since we studied  ‘My Last Duchess’ at school.

This has meant I’ve spent large parts of the week on the computer trying to arrange the words into a grid for the pages. Trying to isolate the speaker's inner, more manic, monologue from the lighter conversational tone that she uses when talking to the alchemist has made this more complicated but I think I’ve done it.
I’ve also worked out how I’m going to bind it before I start to print which is unusual for me.
Words and structure sorted. All I need now are the images

Friday, 6 February 2015

Printed Shops

My wonderful kids bought me membership of the Hot Bed Press for Christmas so yesterday I took my colour separations to play with the risograph.
It took a while to remember how to use it (I couldn’t find my notes from last September’s workshop) but eventually I managed a rack of prints.

Just black ....

2 colour separation in different colour ways (I had anticipated using yellow and black to echo the belisha beacon on the zebra crossing but there wasn’t any yellow ink)....

And three colour separation.

There are restrictions with the process. Registration isn’t completely accurate (though you can fiddle with placing the overlapping colours a bit) and colours are limited (I'm going to have to avoid the temptation to overuse this glorious pink) but I'm thoroughly enjoying using it. I want to try two sided printing next.