Sunday, March 31, 2013

Drypoint Workshops Saturday March 23 & March 30 2013

Participants engaged in intaglio printmaking workshop
in Dryden Ontario Sat. Mar 24 2013

Yours truly (standing) and some of the 13 participants who attended
my drypoint on plastic plate with monotype workshop held in Thunder Bay
on Saturday March 30, 2013.
The past week has been a busy one. Yesterday I gave the second of two workshops here in my home city. Last Saturday in the city of Dryden Ontario (4 hours west of here) I gave the same workshop in drypoint on plastic plate to 11 participants.
Participants were given pre-cut plates (13 x 17 cm) or 5 x 7 inches and drypoint tools. They scribed images into the surface and also were encouraged to experiment with altering the surface of the plastic using sandpaper, implementing drawing techniques such as crosshatching and stippling to create tonal areas.
They were not only able to produce a single colour image on paper but I also showed them how to apply spot wiping of colour on the surface of the plate (a la poupee), monotype from a separate plate and also direct application of thinned out ink using brush to the surface of the plastic.
I would say this endeavour turned out very successful and every person who participated really enjoyed this type of printmaking and took home several prints each that originated from their individual plates. Below are photos showing highlights of these workshops.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

more drypoint experimentation on plastic plate

drypoint on packaging plastic

I was lucky to discover recently during a trip to Toronto a product for the visual arts found at Above Ground Art on McCaul St. This is simply known as packaging plastic. It is a bit thicker than acetate but is thinner and more flexible than plexiglass.
Knowing that I have several upcoming public art workshops I decided to get a sample piece and try out a drypoint image on this plastic sheet. If this worked out I would get more of this product for workshop participants to use.
My goal was to do something fairly simple in design that I could use as a demo piece. It would also be a surface that I might experiment a bit with a couple of different etching inks. These included Akua intaglio ink (soy) and Caligo safewash etching ink (which is derived from flax).
A photo I had taken last year of a swallowtail butterfly became the basis for the sketch which was placed underneath the plastic.
I noticed that when the thin protective plastic wrapping was removed from the clear plastic the sheet developed a slight bow. Apparently the product was cut from a larger roll into individual sheets. This was a bit of an issue but I compensated by placing double sided clear tape underneath to secure it flat to my working surface and give me good contact with my sketch underneath.

Using various sharp pointed tools including an etching needle, diamond tip drypoint needle and homemade darning needle embedded into the end of a piece of wood dowel I scribed lines into the surface. For the dark areas I rough up the surface using both the diamond point in a circular scribbling type motion using the wrist. I also lightly sanded a few areas with fine grit sandpaper to add a bit more texture.

the butterfly drypoint plate

Below are some of the results in photos. The image at the beginning of this post is a basic black ink print on Maidstone white rag. It was printed using Akua intaglio carbon black with a 25% addition of pthalo blue.

I also experimented with printing the drypoint into a monotype made from a separate plate. A piece of Duralar wet media film was cut to the same dimensions of the drypoint plate. I put some tabs of double sided photo mounting tape in between to keep the top plate from slipping during the application of the thinned akua intaglio inks (made a bit more fluid with the addition of a small amount of blending medium). I used the drypoint below as my guide for where to paint in colours of ink. The monotype plate was carefully taken off and placing a piece of lightly misted rag paper I rubbed the back of the paper using my hand and a rubbing stick to transfer ink.

monotype on duralar wet media film painted
on with a brush using thinned akua intaglio inks

Then I took the drypoint plate and using careful steady hand/eye coordination set that facedown over the monotype. I ever so carefully flipped this over and set it on the bed of my small etching press. I lay the 3 layers of felts over top and passed this under the top roller.

drypoint and monotype
Finally I printed a black and white from the plate but this time around using Caligo safewash etching ink (carbon black) and added a minute amount of wiping compound.
The print was fastened to a thin piece of board and allowed several days to dry. I applied watercolour into the print and came up with the following image that is pretty close to what I see in my photo reference:
Swallowtail butterfly
hand coloured drypoint