Monday, September 11, 2006

Printmaking Update

In a comment, Judith Hoffman asked about the printmaking course I mentioned in an earlier post. Well, it went really well. It covered the basics of quite a few techniques: monotypes, linoprints, drypoint and collagraph with a specific emphasis on ways to use these techniques in a home studio. All the techniques except for drypoint could be managed quite successfully without a press. For drypoint, you really needed some sort of press, but Krysti, who ran the course had a great cheap option - a pasta machine! I bought a second hand one on Ebay for less than AU$40 and it works beautifully. So... I guess you'd like to see some of what I learned?? Well, okay - but please remember that these are all first attempts and that I'm on a very steep learning curve!


MONOTYPES
All these prints were done using acrylic paints extended with Golden glazing liquid.

This is known as a subtractive monotype, because you lay down the ink/paint on the plate to start, and then wipe it back, creating your image. I found this easier and more effective that the additive method used here and here.
Left: Nude, 2006.

Right: Blue Shroud, 2006.


COLLAGRAPHS


This is an intaglio collagraph. I loved making collagraphs. You start by making a collage focussing on texture as the means of conveying your image. This plate was so simple to make, but I love the wonderful shading you can achieve. To print this I used my pasta press, but of course you can also make relief collagraphs which don't require any press at all.
Left: Geometrica, 2006.





COLLAGRAPH & DRYPOINT

This is the only print I have done so far where I combined two techniques. The colour scheme leaves a little to be desired, but otherwise I was reasonably happy with the result. The butterfly is drypoint and the leaves are intaglio collagraph.




Taking an online course worked really well as far as my CFS was concerned. Each week there was new stuff to try out but no pressure what so ever. After about 3 weeks I did fall a little behind and didn't get to post my final weeks work before the site access closed, but that was okay.

At the time I was feeling really disorganised and having some structure imposed on my week really helped. Learning new techniques meant I didn't feel pressured to create "art", as long as I got the technique to work, I could feel I was successful.

In terms of printmaking, I was right - I do really love it and it was terrific to find ways to achieve reasonable results here at home. My only problem is that its still a little bit "big" for me with my current level of energy. By this I mean that doing a "print run" of say 10 prints in a day is too tiring. But I guess that's just a mind set really, there is no reason you can't just do one or two prints in a session - it depends on the technique you are using as to how much energy is required in preparing the plate for each print.

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