Print 1. Project 1: Oil based ink issues

Getting the consistency right.

Over the last few days I’ve been reading more about monotype printing.  I hadn’t realised that monoprinting is the generic terminology for (essentially) prints that are a one-off, even if they are built using several layers but monotype refers more specifically to a painterly method of printing these original works.  With brushes, rags, and other materials quite specific and detailed prints can be made.

So far I’ve not been happy with the consistency of my oil based inks.  My textbooks refer specifically to water-based inks that clean up with soapy water and oil-based inks that clean up with turps or other abrasive or toxic solvents.  I seem to have bought inks that sit somewhere between these two.  My oil-based inks clean up with vegetable oil.  The print plate responds well and cleans quickly.  The brushes I start by using the vegetable oil and then  wash in soap and warm or hot water.  So I feel I have the advantage of oil-based products but with a fairly easy and quick clean-up routine.

However, although I like the inks, I’m finding it difficult to get a good consistency to use in a monotype fashion with brushes.  A breakthrough this morning has produced a print showing less hard-edged brush marks and an overall softer look.

Print1-P1hI’ve just used black for this test.  I’ve gone a little too far in thinning the inks but I now have some understanding of what to do.  I applied ink by brush, across the whole plate, using the end of a larger brush to draw the line work and then rubbed away the areas outside the flower using a soft cloth.

The fact that I thinned the inks too much is clearly evident on some parts of the petals and particularly on the ghost print.

OK, a difficult start but finally making progress.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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5 Responses to Print 1. Project 1: Oil based ink issues

  1. Phil says:

    Oil based inks are harder to clean than water based ones, but I think that you are right in persevering with oil based Inks. I like the texture of colours you can produce with these inks.

  2. Nola says:

    Still a great print, though. I like the softness of it.

  3. fibresofbeing says:

    Hurrah for the discipline of morning sessions and the progress you’ve made!

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