Print 1. Project 6: Shell linoprint.

The aim of this exercise, for my own gratification, was to create a lino print with a sense of movement.

I also wanted to play with a reduced colour palette, altering the quantities of the chosen colours to create different but related visual outcomes.  I used black, white, ultramarine and pthalo green.

Shell-prints-1Above left: 110gsm cartridge paper.  Right: Tissue paper, crumpled then ironed flat with minimal remaining creases.  Not a very successful result.  I’d hoped that the wrinkles might create some variation in the ink take-up, thereby creating some shadowing.  In fact, the ink hasn’t taken to the tissue very well at all.

Shell-prints-2Above left: 185gsm medium texture water-colour paper.  This is not a design that works well on a textural surface, it seems to blur the imagery and the ink doesn’t adhere well enough.  Right: Lightweight creamy beige Iwaki paper.  Very, very nice paper, and I’ve finally worked out which side I should print on!

Shell-prints-3Above left: Awagami Hosho (smooth side).  Another excellent Japanese paper for relief printing.  Right: 200gsm grey smooth paper.

Shell-prints-4Above: Using very watery Brusho paints I applied some colour to a sheet of Awagami Hosho paper.  I dropped a little dry paint powder onto the surface to make small marks.  Once dry (and marginally distorted from the water) I took the print (picture right).

Shell-prints-5Unryu paperAbove left: Lightweight Unryu (Mulberry paper from Thailand).  This is semi-translucent with some fibre inclusions – see photo left.  The print shows unevenness where these inclusions are, which I quite like.  It’s created a slightly mottled look.  The lino has picked up the markings from the paper in the residual ink, after printing – see inset photo above.  Right: 110gsm cartridge paper ghost print from this lino.  I don’t think linoprint ghost prints are the way to go.  The ink sits well on the rubbery surface of the lino and is usually picked up successfully on the first go so there isn’t enough ink left to give any definition to a second attempt.

Shell-prints-6Above left: 110gsm cartridge paper.  I used this paper, although not particularly good quality, to test the colour.  However, cartridge paper does tend to give a good sharp image result.  Right: Lightweight Unryu Mulberry paper.  The colour of both prints is the same but the varying weights, surfaces and colours of the papers have produced quite different results.

Shell-prints-7Left: Awagami Hosho (smooth side).   This time, as my printing ink was much darker than when I started the day, I applied the Brusho paints more heavily to the background paper first.  I dropped more paint powder on to the wet surface and allowed it to bleed out but remain strong.

I’m not sure I like the result.  I think it would have been more effective if the paint had been properly painted throughout instead of having these very intense markings.  The paper really isn’t designed for this either.  It’s a little too lightweight and buckles with the water.  It’s interesting that the ink colour from the lino print looks lighter than the two samples above when it is exactly the same.  When I hold the darkly printed cartridge paper sample next to this one I can see that the printed ink colour is identical but the overall effects are quite at odds.

This has been an extremely interesting exercise.  I’ve enjoyed playing with the colour mixing and a range of paper, and I feel I’ve produced a good set of prints.

My aim to create prints with a sense of movement has been quite successful.  Colour choices have helped here.  The best results, to my eye, are those in the light and mid-range colour schemes.  The darker I made the ink the harsher and more static the composition became.

All prints have been hand pressed using a baren.



About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
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