Tuesday 23 February 2010

Working with Lino

5 am working with lino at the moment and these are a few prints made by an artist who I think is using the medium of lino really well - her name is Alison Pilkington.  I believe she is an Irish artist.    I have 2 lino prints on the go at the moment.

One is a three plate lino which is to be printed in stages.  I dont think its going to be easy to print these as thery will probably need to be done on an etching press - although I will also try to print them, on a relief press.  Just printing the blue backgrounds singly has been a job (although that was on an etching press.

Anyway heres the "plan".
I need to make the birds with the infants inside of them  smaller as they look better that way.  The thing is though, that it will be tricky to carve them out of the lino so small - I suppose I will just have to see first on a little test plate if I can manage them so small.  The three squares of lino are 12 by 12 inches or 30 x 30 cm each.  So to print them onto one piece of paper - it will need to be about 100 to 110 cm long. Not too sure what kind of paper to use either ??
 - the truth is,  I am not very experienced with lino print.  So any suggestions are welcome.

I don't know that there's much scope for lino etch with my blue tree girl image other than where I have already done some on her top.    I love how Alison has used it here in these three prints.  Also the colour choices are excellent.  These pieces by her are quite big too.

  The other print  that I am working on which I will need to have finished sooner is again large but with that one I will be using lino cuts that I already have as well as adding 2 new elements that I  cut today.  This one will be printed intaglio - which is also quite tricky.  I am wondering if using the lino press runners will make things easier, as regards putting it through the press??

to see more of the excellent PRINTMAKING thats going on in Ireland   http://www.originalprint.ie/

Wednesday 17 February 2010

"Attic" Zinc etching

This print or should I say zinc plate started out in “life” ages and ages ago BUT there were things I liked about the plate and I had put a lot of work into it so , of course I did not throw it away.  Wish I had a photo of the original proof  but I don’t.  This is because I suppose I also had no mass on it  and it was made in the days before I documented the process of making my artworks.    Having said that of late I haven’t been involving myself in  too much documentation  of late, either but that’s another story and its probably because I have so many prints on the go at present.
Anyway here’s a proof of the main part of the plate that I kept.  I chopped the other section off and probably did throw that away.  It’s a plate with the ready made backing on it you know the green colour.    This particular proof my good friend Tatiana made for me one Saturday when she was round here and I was trying to get an edition of prints the green door stuff finished so that was really helpful. 

I spoke to Bill at FDPW about how to eliminate the parts I did not want and he concurred with me that yes the best approach would be to sand it and then re aquatint it.  

Where the ‘newly aquatinted  sprayed areas” met the original plate surface would need to be soft so I did some tests and research into that.   It seems to me a question that I have never had satisfactorily answered and yet it’s such a basic and essential piece of ammunition necessary for a printmaker. 
I would appreciate any comments on this in particular.  Heres’ a couple of jpgs of some little tests I did in an effort to arrive at something satisfactory.
At the same time I was starting to think that I needed a further amount of ‘picture space’.   I located another section of the exact same kind of zinc plate to go on the left, as you view it on the press bed OR on the right once it is proofed. A fine aquatint spray was applied on that  plate also.  
Then it was proofed – I scanned it and desaturated it to black and white and considered some possibilities image wise.  I had this image of a figure which I had drawn ages ago which was like a falling figure just in outline format, which I liked and decided that it worked well against the window like image on the plate.

I also had this dog like image which I had drawn and then used it to make some small miniprints using stencils, for a project in Columbia (which will be my next post) and it had become distorted in the process of my doing those – resulting in a slightly more menacing looking being.  It seemed to go really well within this ‘tonal atmosphere’  - the crazy thing was that the image seemed to be resonating from that original plate that I had done over 10 years ago.  Anyway I played around with the various elements.
I quite enjoyed playing around in Photoshop with these in tones going from white to black.  At this point it seemed somehow that the ‘extra’ plate  section, worked in terms of  its location i.e.,  being positioned  at the side of the main plate.

Because time was running out I applied the dog figure to the  small plate with Lascaux acrylic hard ground. 


 I made an acetate in Photoshop of the dog figure which I then carefully cut out with a scalpel knife.  I placed it over the area where I wanted it and painted on one thin layer of the liquid using one of my pro arte brushes.  

 I had purchased a set of them a while back ostensibly to use when applying lino etch solution but have found that they are very suited to applying the Lascaux range of Acrylic Resist etch liquids.   
Just examining one of these brushes now and it says “Basics Art Brush D480A006”  Nothing about Pro arte ??   I have thought all along that this is what these are.

They are dark blue (long) handled,, with a metallic effect painted tip.  The ferrules are silver metal. The heads are white soft,  cottony – ish, probably synthetic and although they are as I said soft – there’s a firmness to them all the same.  So these are the kinds of brushes that I find work well with the Lascaux A.R.E. product range.

NOTE: In the book by Carol and Robert they say to use “to use a soft fine haired brush such as a sable, or watercolour brush  or a Prolene brush made by ProArte”.


If painting large areas with acrylic etch resist , although the liquids are supposed to be self levelling it seems none the less a good idea to apply it with a soft-ish  brush so as not to leave brush marks.  I applied three thin coats and allowed them to dry in between I left them 30 mins  at a time to make sure although I think the stuff dries especially if applied thinly in about 10 mins.  When dry I scribed into it using the tip of  a scalpel to engrave some  ink holding lines. 

Oh by now I had realised that I wanted the extra plate to go on the top of the other image , which for me made it all “knit together’ and although the final outcome wasn’t as perfect as I might have liked .  I was reasonably happy with it.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Sylvia Taylor

Here are some lovely prints by an artist I kind of know through the internet - I cant remember when I first came across her work but its .......well have a look.  She doesn't have her own website so here's a few links I dug up.
I particularly like the one with the creatures  in red and the picture of the huge herd.   

Friday 12 February 2010

Three Bears Print (Part 5)

This is as far as things have got but I still wasn't happy with it.  So I included a different print to the New Zealand print.  It was a shame because I had worked on this quite steadily over a 3 to 4 week period.  I don't know - I remember a lot of frustration and getting confused.  But I will go back and work on it again sometime this year.

Oh you troublesome bears !!!

Three Bears Print (Part 4)

I had to have two attempts to get this first transfer of image to plate with the Photrak emulsion on the UV box.  It looked a bit faint so I was''t too well pleased with it at all.  As you can see the second one wasn't that much better.    Once I had it on the plate with enough polymer to protect it from the etching process I then added to it using my acid resist pen which I bought from Intaglio printmakers in London.  Its the darker blue which you can see in the final image.  You can also see that I have added more acrylic spray aquatint.