Friday, 30 September 2016

First Prints

I decided that trying to edition a set of identical Snow White prints was one step too far so I thought I'd make a variable edition and explore different inks and colour combinations.

But this plate has been a fight right from the start and so it continued. I printed it today and only managed 4 prints before the block started to feel spongy around the queen’s eyes. I cleaned it up and I think the shellac has started to lift, not off the sellotape sections, where I would expect it, but over the mount board part of the sleeves and the masking tape trees. Both materials normally hold onto the varnish and stay stable with no problem. I’m going to let it dry and then decide whether to give it another coat or risk continuing without.

Of the four prints, the first was a bit pale, as I’d expect, but it gave me an idea of which areas need extra attention when wiping.

The second, prussian blue,
and the third, a combination of prussian blue and burnt umber,
are OK . But the fourth which I think is the best colour off all three, a combination of burnt umber and burnt sienna, has done something odd. 
The face, and only the face, has printed twice. Not smudged as though it has shifted during printing, just printed twice, slightly offset and clearly defined.
 I’ll see what happens next week when I print it again but I’m not optimistic.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Snow White - Ready to print?

I’ve had three goes at this block!

The first block was almost finished when I managed to stick tape right across the bodice , which needs to be a flat pale colour in the print, and completely lifted the smooth top surface.

I finished the scene inside the skirt in the second attempt and then realised that I hadn’t reversed the image. There is no text but the image needs to be read left to right, ‘mirror, mirror’ followed by the poisoned apple.

Third time lucky? I’m not sure. The varnish looks uneven and I’ve a horrible feeling that it might show on the print. But I’m not sure how to try fixing it without making it worse so I’ll have a go with the ink and hope I don’t’ have to deal with it.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Homage to Patrick Hughes

I’ve been busy this week. I decided it was time to finish the Four Seasons Perspective book using the etched image.
I had thought of inking each section in a different colour to reflect the different seasons but after trying it as a mock up (altering the colours on the computer) decided that the different blocks of colour broke up the unity of the image too much. So I printed a set of 10 using a burnt umber ink. I may make another set using a Prussian blue later.
When I made the mock up I made it with rectangular covers but this spoilt the optical illusion at the ends of the book so I decided to go with a trapezium to reflect the folded shapes. This does make the image read better.
The uniformity of colour does mean that it isn’t as obvious that the same room is going through changes as the season changes though so I have re-titled it “Homage to Patrick Hughes”.

I am considering developing the image in watercolour to emphasise the four seasons narrative and make a companion book. This week  I bought a light pad so that I could work directly onto watercolour paper and not need to trace the image in graphite first. It is wonderful, thin enough to work with on my work table and bright. So much more comfortable than working with images taped to the window, and I can work at night!
I haven’t started the watercolour yet but it is making the drawing and redrawing of my next collagraph print so much easier.