Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Little Diversion Into Simple Printmaking

So my printing press has arrived and now sits ready for action in my studio. I'm waiting for the inks to arrive from the UK. I also have lots of new canvas's ready for painting on but I have been eager to get started on the printmaking. I happened upon an article about making simple prints using styrofoam as a printing plate so I thought I would give that a try using the one tin of ink that I already have. Because I am a vegetarian I don't buy meat and so I don't have a ready supply of styrofoam containers so I went out and bought some disposable plates and cut the centers out of them. This gave me small 4inch squares to use. The idea is that you draw into the styrofoam with a pencil or pen, ink it up and then press it firmly onto paper. Where the lines are impressed the ink doesn't print and the original colour of the paper shows through. Very simple to do and in fact children do it at pre school. The only ink I have is gold so I had great fun printing with this on different coloured paper but I loved it on black. Then I got very excited about the possibilities and had to rush off to the art store to buy some decent black watercolour/printing paper.

By making a picture using many of the small plates you have more options.I made several prints of a multi plate print based on a painting I did a while back. The first one, pictured above, was a bit messy as the registration of the plates wasn't very good so with the next one I was more careful, however, it was too perfect and lacked the more print quality that I was after. I also ran one through the press under very gentle pressure using the plate I had already printed from but that still had some ink on it. This gave a very soft print that I thought I could use as part of a collage however I decided to paint part of it to see how that would turn look. You will have to check back for my next post to see how that has turned out.

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