Monday, March 26, 2012

Drypoint on acrylic plate with added hand coloring

Southern Ontario Farmland
drypoint with hand color
varied open edition
Brian Holden
copyright 2012

I have been producing a few new miniature size prints in preparation for another solo exhibition of my work this coming summer. This show will feature only small size printmaking from my studio that utilize various techniques in their creation.
The above study could actually be labelled mix media since watercolor painting was an additional process I used to add color to the image. The plate size is 7 x 12.5 cm (2.75 x 5 inches). I don't imagine I'll be able to print too many images from the plate as the plexiglass usually only yields a small number of good impressions before the line deteriorates.
As for the process I made a sketch on paper using a photo I had taken a couple years back when I visited this region as reference and laid a piece of clear non-glare plexiglass over top. Using my sketch as a guide I worked into the surface of the acrylic using a steel carbide needle and also a small diamond tip stylus.
Then oil based etching ink was wiped into the recessed lines and the plate was printed into soaked and blotted 250 gm rag paper. I taped the paper to a piece of thin hardboard with butchers tape and let it dry. Watercolor was then added.
The landscape is a view of farmland on a hillside that is part of a river valley in an area of Southern Ontario very close to where my father and mother reside. I also spent some time during my childhood in this region and used to fish and swim in this river as a lad.

Monday, March 19, 2012

polymer plate printing using different printmaking inks at the same time

This is a print from a solar plate I created last year. Decided to try something a bit unusual this time around to make a few more prints from the plate. Graphic Chemical bone black oil based etching ink (linseed base) was applied first into the exposed plate recessed areas. After a good wiping with tartalan cloth and yellow pages I then applied color Akua intaglio ink onto the surface areas. For this the ink was applied using a small watercolor brush and I used my pinky to smudge it around a la poupee. Some of the ink was applied as is right out of the jar but I also diluted a few colors like the green with a little Akua blending medium.
I pre-soaked a piece of Canson Edition 250 gm rag white for about 40 min. which was blotted between cotton towels and then laid slightly damp over top of the plate that I had set onto a piece of cartridge paper on the press bed. A piece of newsprint was placed over top of this and three layers of wool felts carefully set on top of this. The inked plate was passed through the press. The photos above and below illustrate the result. Even though the inks are from different sources they do appear to work together. I was careful to not to apply to much Akua ink but to leave some little white areas exposed to add highlights.

solar plate etching
copyright Brian Holden 2012
image size : 8.6 x 12.7 cm (3 3/8 x 5 inches)
paper size: 18 x 23 cm (7 x 9 inches)
varied open edition

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hand colour added to monochromatic collagraph print

Trowbridge Island
collagraph/hand colour
varied edition of 10
Brian Holden
copyright 2012

detail of lighthouse

detail of residence

I thinned down my black ink a little to make it less high contrast. Then printed a run of around 12 images onto Canson Edition paper.
I decided to add some watercolour into one of my monochromatic collagraph studies of a lighthouse and lighthouse keepers residence. This is the result. It does help define some things like rock face not visible in the non-colour version.
Unfortunately I found that the relief elements on the plate were starting to flatten down with each pull under the press roller so I have really only 10 good prints on paper and two artist proofs. Therefore this will be a small edition print.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

more collagraphs

Trowbridge Island Lighthouse

I am really enjoying experimenting with this type of loose printmaking (collagraph). I think it is the surprise factor is that excites me the most. You build a plate but really don't know what you will get due to various factors that include the textures from the various collaged media, how well the plate is inked and wiped, the amount of pressure exerted on the plate by the press roller.
Here is my first print off a small square matboard plate I constructed on Friday. Decided to print this as a monochromatic as a test to see how the resultant image would translate onto paper.
This is a study I did from a freehand sketch made from a photo taken of Trowbridge Island lighthouse, located at the entrance to Thunder Bay near the Sleeping Giant peninsula. It is also not a big study by any means, in fact I would classify it as a miniature since it is only 10 x10 cm in plate size (4 inches square).

As I wiped the plate I saw areas that I wanted a little more defined as lightest in the print so did some spot wiping and ink removal with q-tips.
The plate was constructed using cut out pieces of scrap ends of printmaking paper, modeling paste, white and yellow carpenters glue plus peeling away a little of the top layer of the mat board.  I worked the modeling paste with the end of a pencil to get those swirly shapes happening in the foliage that defines the area in the middle of the print.
It was sealed with water based varathane (3 coats).
Printed into a scrap end piece of Canson Edition rag. Akua Carbon black intaglio ink (not thinned down).
I may print a few more monochromatic from the plate and apply hand color just to see what that does to the image.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Collagraph experimentations with new ink


This is a recent little collagraph study I made. It measures 10 cm x 10  cm or 4 x 4 inches.
The plate is a substrate base of thin cardboard (the backing from a writing pad.) I glued on cut out pieces of cardboard packaging from a food product to create the flower petals. Also added modeling paste and a little white glue to create the lily pads. I also peeled away a bit of the top layer of the base board in between the raised areas. Surface marks were made using an xacto blade to create fine lines in the flower petals. Three coats of water based varathane were spray over top to seal it.
The plate was then inked up with Akua Intaglio inks (using both finger wiping and brush application). Printed on the Canson Edition paper.
The Akua ink is nice. It applies nicely to the plate using both brush and wiping with scrim. It is very easy to clean up to with water and liquid soap.

This is the plate cleaned off after the first print was made

I am experimenting with a few other designs at the moment including some abstract collagraphs that have a textural element created from the dried out contents of a Brita water filter used as a replacement for carborundum. Will post these next blog entry.