Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Learning Lithography: Colour Day 1

Saturday morning and I'm back at Edinburgh Printmakers for the second weekend of my Stone Litho adventure - this time with the emphasis on colour.

Alastair begins by announcing that we won't be using the same techniques as last time - cue slight panic as I have been planning how to approach this weekend on the basis of what I learnt last time!

'Maniere-noire' is today's challenge. First, I mask out the image area with sellotape and masking tape and prime it with thinned black ink. Usually it is then rolled up with process black - a very sticky ink. - to create a solid flat area. 

I choose to leave some of the 'atmospheric' effects achieved in the priming process. After applying a 3 drop etch, I leave the stone to rest for half an hour. It is then ready to draw into.

Any hard abrasive materials can be used for drawing into the ink - blade, pumice stick, sandpaper, wire wool, carborundum. 

I choose to use a razor blade to create lines and softer scraped areas.

After protecting the drawing with rosin and talc, I etch most of it with a fairly strong 11 drop gum mixture. On the more delicate sky area, a 3 drop etch is enough.

After half an hour, the ink is removed with white spirit, leaving a greasy film on the stone. I prime and roll up the stone again with black ink and a second etch is applied to further stabilise the image.

Before printing I clean off the ink again and roll it up with my chosen printing ink - a good deep blue - and put it through the press.

Now I can see the results of my labours today - and I am very pleased with this first stage. The 'maniere-noire' technique suits the way I like to work. It has aspects of both etching, in the line - and monotype, in the process of working into a block of ink.

Tomorrow we'll be adding more layers of colour. An exciting prospect!

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