Combining the plates:
In my last post I posed the question ‘Is it too much to ask to be able to prepare 2 plates, add chine collé and achieve exact registration?‘. Well, put it this way, it hasn’t been easy and I’m not finished yet. In the extreme heat we are having, my chine collé glue dried before I could get anywhere near printing. An added consequence of this is that my dried-glue papers then curled up, making them almost impossible to use as they wouldn’t then lie flat on the plate. They slipped out of place, didn’t adhere and had me seriously gritting my teeth in frustration. I even waited until the first plate was printed, covered it to keep the paper damp, and then prepared my glued papers but it nearly drove me to distraction.
Above left: This was an experiment using two different blues to see if they would be distinguishable. Simple answer: NO! No chine collê involved, just the colour and placement trial. Colour isn’t good but the placement of all components is exactly what I’m aiming for.
Above right: Used a lighter, brighter blue for Elian which I don’t like at all. It looked quite different when on the mixing palette and before it dried. Not good. The plant foliage has come out well but I’m not getting the amount of green I want coming through.
The chine collé, well what can I say? The glue had to be applied twice, so the paper disintegrated on the lower flower. All four papers wrinkled because they had been dampened, glued, dried out and then re-glued. They stretched, shrunk and then tore apart. AND THEN, as if that weren’t enough, one seriously moved out of place.
Above left: Again I left off the chine collé whilst I worked on the colour correction. This is much better. I love Elian in the sepia and using this colour also helps the green to come through. I’m starting to see some depth with Elian moving from for- to mid-ground. Unfortunately a 3mm registration slip.
Above right: I went back to my original concept of reducing the amount of ink on the plates, hoping to see some of the green coming through on the right hand foliage. Finally, finally the chine collé is perfect but I’ve rubbed back too much of the surrounding ink. Again, not enough green showing.
Four prints doesn’t look like much, does it? However it can take me around an hour or more to prepare everything to form a complete print so this is quite a bit of work.
The next step will be to have Elian in sepia, the vortex in deep blue/black and more of the green on the foliage with perfect yellow blooms. Don’t hold your breath, it may take a while.
Meantime, as none of the work above is perfect I’ve decided to add some water-colour effects to enhance (fingers crossed).
I guess that’s the frustration of printing, isn’t it? And the ecstasy when it all goes together perfectly. Hopefully the second state will be reached shortly!
The thing with this type of printing is that it’s extremely hard to see how much ink you have remaining on the plates before printing. Rubbing away just the right amount is quite an art in itself. It’s always a surprise, and sometimes a delight, when you see the results.
I like the last one the most. looks like you’re having fun
Yes, that’s the best. I’ll practice my painting on the others first and then hopefully make this the finished ‘ hand-painted’ print.
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