Sunday, July 12, 2009

2nd relief engraving - The Wild Rose (a botanical print)

This botanical study of a wild rose blossom is a working proof printed from a small 1.5 x 2.75 inch resingrave block. I was using it as an exercise to practice cutting with a variety of engraving tools. I also received a small sample tube of Gamblin oil relief printing ink from McClain's and so had the opportunity to try it out with the block.
The first image is simple black ink proof printed on white paper. Below that is a hand tinted version that incorporates watercolour.

The image began as a drawing made onto an black india ink coated resingrave block surface with a fine point silver gel marker. Then using a variety of engraving tools I cut away the silver lines (but some non-drawn line cuts were made spur of the moment on the block).

A tip I learned from wood engraver/author George Walker's book The Woodcut Artist's handbook is to brush some chalk or white talcum powder into the cut lines as this will help the relief to become more visible while working on the dark block.
I have printed several proofs so far on a variety of different papers that include Gampi, Kozo, Somerset velvet rag and Arches cover buff.

The block was printed onto the papers using a cardboard tympan set over top and passed under the top roller of my small table top etching press that was adjusted to print using a slight pressure.