Back to school… Will’s Life Drawing class began again tonight at Bristol Grammar School so I get to break out the pencil crayons for another term. It always takes a while to get back in to the swing of things, working out the rusty hinges and all. Had a lot of fun spending the 2nd half of the session etching a single plate taking in four different poses. Looking forward to proofing this now I’ve had a bit more practise at the print process over summer. I’ve photoshopped out a rough test of what the prints should pull like, but you never can tell until you get your hands dirty down the studio.
Four prints to collect today. Once again testing the two current types of ink I have at the moment. Charbonnel gives a much more subtle flavour, and the Caligo a less refined but more punchy, cartoony look. Testing will continue! Life drawing starts again tomorrow so a whole new raft of plate making will follow, which reminds me – I must prepare the 20 plates I bought :/
Its a bit frustrating fighting with tone inking up plates so I decided to have a play with using marks to make tone rather than doing it all at the print stage. I didn’t really intend to end up with this tartan type pattern, but that’s what popped out. I’ve no idea what it’ll actually look like printed, I’ve tried to quickly mock it up but the proof of the pudding will be in the pulling…
I’ve been working a lot recently on a series of inkings, but I’ve still been trying to put in a day a week down at the print shop. I’ve been experimenting with different inks under the advisement of a few experienced printers that are more than willing to share their knowledge. Turns out though that the technique I’d developed using a certain type of water based ink doesn’t translate across to the more traditional ‘industry standard’ Charbonelle oil based ink. Its fun to have a play though, certainly takes the pressure off… only one useable image out of nine isn’t so good in a production sense though!
I’ve also tried a different smaller size of paper, inspired by the 6×8 charity art competition I’m entering.
Finally got round to choosing prints that make the grade from the few editions I’ve pulled to date. 13 of the prints you see here will be available to buy in the very near future. 4 of the remainder have made it to the framery to get fitted with their Sunday best ready for my walls and galleries. I’ve also been producing a number of new original inkings testing out a smaller format, more on that to follow…
It feels like a long while since I’ve been down to the print studio. Picked up these prints today that were pulled on Tues. I’d just got some new fancy Charbonnelle printing ink and had a bit of a play rather than just trying to pull the perfect print each time. Its much more fun this way. Oddly doesn’t feel like you’re producing anything good at the time, but they seem to be growers. Enjoying playing with texture and tone, I’m going to forget about editioning and just get on with it…
More practice = more better. Getting my print mojo working, had a much better session today. I’m looking to get an edition of around 6 good prints per plate. Very low numbers, but that’s the deal. The prints I picked up today are getting better, still refining the technique though. So much to learn. (Apologies for the poorly lit photos – moving house and office at the moment so only able to snap with a little point and shoot digi-cam. Normal service will be resumed soon)
Todays lesson. Don’t overwet your paper – especially when using water soluble ink. I was getting these crazy (unwanted) textures and I couldn’t figure out what was causing it. But thanks to some sage advice I believe over-wetting was the problem. This didn’t happen in todays’ session so it looks like that’s the cause. You can see the problem below:
Not cool – especially when it takes a good 30mins to prepare the plate for it to fail at the last stage… and then do it again on the next print because you can’t work out what’s wrong :/ Click thumbs below for a closer look.
No-one ever said it was gonna be easy! 6 hours work, 9 prints made and barely 3 of saleable quality. I’ll have to listen to my own advice today. To succeed you must embrace failure. It may be frustrating that I’ve not managed to produce what I wanted, but the lessons learnt are invaluable moving forward.
Click thumbs below to see the good the bad and the ugly in full size…
Now the sun is shining I decided to take advantage of the natural light and take some photos of some of my most successful prints. I’ve also started work on another edition of original inkings which I will post next week. Its getting very close to my wedding now so I won’t be posting much for the next month or so. I’ve very much caught the art bug again and it doesn’t look like its going to go away this time.
Good session tonight, arm bloody hurts though – curse you booster jabs! Happy with what was produced. This is probably my last session… blimey, until September then. Bugger. Heh ho. Lots of time to work on inking editions (more on this tomorrow ;) exciting! Here’s the pics from tonight: