Monday, May 18, 2015

experimentations with miniature plate prints - various approaches to colour application

Conifers, Moon and Aurora
Drypoint with relief roll
varied edition
plate size: 7 cm square (2.75 inches)
paper size: 11.5 x 14 cm (4.5 x 5.5 inches)

I have been inspired the last couple of days to experiment a little more with a couple of small acrylic plate drypoint prints.

Today I threw all caution to the wind and just decided lets play with various things and see what does and doesn't work.

I decided to try a unique approach using the small organic conifer tree shapes (see my previous post) that I had scratched onto a small 7 cm square plate. That is 2.75 inches for my US friends and yes even some Canadians.

I wiped a bit of Caligo Safe Wash carbon black etching ink into the scratched linework on the plate. Once I had the plate surface clean post wipe with yellow pages I applied Akua Intaglio ink rolled onto the surface with a brayer. This was a bit of Pthalo blue mixed with a drop of blending medium to make it a bit more transparent. I then used another roller with a bit of a lightened green and rolled it across the surface of the plate into the blue. Then using a small brush I worked and blended this. Using a cotton swab I removed ink from the lower section of the plate. I then applied a deep violet of Akua intaglio ink using a small synthetic bristle taklon brush. I placed the plate onto the press bed and put a small piece of damp Canson Edition rag over top.
The press bed felts were placed over top and it was passed under the top roller (tightened earlier).

The black ink came out a bit light however the colour background was kinda nice. I cleaned off the plate, once again applied the carbon black ink to the scratched line and cleaned off the surface by wiping with a bit of coated tissue paper. 
I carefully set the small plate on top of the print (it set into the slight embossing created by during the first passing under the roller earlier). I carefully flipped this over so the plate was facing upward and the print on top, once again I set the felts over top and passed this under the roller. This gave me a deep rich black from the scratched lines which contrast nicely against the colour background. The effect I wanted to achieve was that of aurora borealis. You be the judge?

I did a second version of this but placed a small paper circle from a three hole punch between the trees.

I had a another study of a small tiny 5 white petal flower (skunk currant) and for this one I did two approaches. The plate size was again 7 cm square. The first approach was to scratch lines into the plate surface, then wipe some ink into the scratched areas to reveal the linework in black, Using a lightbox I set a piece of tracing paper over top of the plate and traced the outline of the flower shapes using a 6B pencil . I also marked on the tracing paper where the edges of the plate would be. I flipped the tracing and set it over top of a piece of goldish-green thin oriental gampi paper. I then went over the pencil lines once again with a firm lead pencil. This transferred the 6B lead onto the tissue and I used it as a guide to cut the small shapes out with a triangular blade x-acto knife. I then sprinkled a little wheat paste powder on the surface of the paper. 
I set the same size square piece of gampi with the cut away sections over top of the inked plate. I misted it with a fine spray of atomized water (to moisten and activate the wheat paste powder). A piece of a damp rag paper was set over top and again with felts lowered was passed under the top roller of the press. 
Unfortunately something shifted when I placed the rag paper over top so there was a slight off registration of the collage colour paper background.

The second version was made using a relief roll of green akua ink and the white areas of the petals were created by again using a cotton swab to remove the green ink. I applied a bit of golden yellow to the plate surface on the tip of small brush.

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