Letter G Linocut Design – Second Colour Printed

I have joined a linocut group on facebook, where members can sign up to print a linocut letter for different themed alphabets. I have chosen the letter ‘G’ for a freestyle alphabet, image size 15×15 cm. You can read more about how I came up with my design here. And about printing the first colour here.

Letter G linocut first colour printed © Catherine Cronin

Letter G linocut first colour printed

I am doing a reduction linocut of three colours; below is an image of the ‘soft-cut’ block cut for the second colour to be printed. Only the letter ‘G’ will be printed; I left some ‘triangular’ shapes near the edge to give a bit of stability to the block.

2ndColourBlockGLinocutweb

I am using Caligo waterbased inks; the first colour I mixed was taupe (yellowish light grey), this second colour is straight from the tube, Naphthol red.

NaphtholRedInkRolledweb

2ndColourBlockGLinocuInkedweb

I was worried that my registration method for printing the block in the same position in relation to the paper would not be accurate enough. There has been some slight movement on some of the prints but it is pretty spot on. Image below shows the block inked in register on an acetate sheet, the printing paper is lined up with the black horizontal and vertical lines towards the bottom and right. I have used cut paper to mask off areas of the block that have picked up ink in the lower level which I don’t want to print.

2ndColourBlockGLinocutRegisteredweb

 

Here are the prints drying, so far so good; I have one final colour to print which is black, hopefully the registration will be okay for the last colour too – fingers crossed!

2ndColourBlockGLinocutPrintedDryingweb

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

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Reblogging – Aquatint Using Hairspray

Great ‘how to’ article – reblogging: Aquatint Using Hairspray

from http://www.printingindahouse.wordpress.com

On aquatint using hair spray

by Debora Ando

 

I would like to introduce this method as an easier and more practical alternative to aquatint materials already in use in print studios and schools. Hair spray is a chemical product and therefore may cause allergies or reactions. For precaution wear adequate gear and designate an enclosed space where the hair spray can be handled avoiding spreading of the particles.

Materials for the aquatint using hair spray …….. ”

Continue reading article here – Aquatint Using Hairspray

 

 

Letter G Linocut Design – First Colour Printed

I have joined a linocut group on facebook, where members can sign up to print a linocut letter for different themed alphabets. I have chosen the letter ‘G’ for a freestyle alphabet, image size 15×15 cm. You can read more about how I came up with my design here.

FINAL DESIGN

FINAL DESIGN

I am doing a reduction linocut, also known as a ‘suicide’ cut. Once the first colour is printed you remove more lino from the block to print the next colour and so on for each subsequent colour. This means that if you make a mistake you cannot start again. There is no going back with a ‘suicide’ cut.

LetterG_marked_linoWeb

 

LetterG_marked_lino2Web

 

I marked out the image on my ‘soft cut’ lino using biro; making sure that my letter ‘G’ was drawn as a mirror image so that when I take a print, the print will show the letter ‘G’ the correct way around.The O and X marks denote areas of colour. Where there are no O and X marks that is the material I want to remove first.

LetterG_marked_lino_FirstCutweb

 

I mixed the first colour which is taupe (a yellowish light grey) using Caligo waterbased inks. I wanted a warmer grey than the graphite pencil as seen in my sketched final design.

I found out that if I didn’t roll on the ink to completely cover the biro pen markings on the lino block, the biro pen actually started to print onto the paper – that was an unwelcome surprise.

LetterG_CaligoInksFirstColourweb LetterG_rollingInkFirstColourweb

LetterG_InkingFirstColourweb

LetterG_FirstBlock_taupeweb

FIRST COLOUR PRINTED

 

I regret the registration method I used to make sure that my lino block and paper could be printed in the same position for each colour. I marked out my lino block in relation to the position of the paper with marker pen on acetate. This method works, but it is not 100% accurate, there is a slight movement of position each time you line up your block and paper. As my image depends on the geometry of the design I should have used a more accurate registration method; I realised this too late! I will have to press on and hope that any movement is very slight and not too noticeable when it comes to printing the next two colours.

(© Catherine Cronin)

 

Photography into Etching – Hand Colouring

I have finished a 3 day course on photo etching at City Lit taken over 3 weekends.

You can read about it here.

A couple of the prints with chine-collé weren’t working well, so I added some hand inking to see if I could get a more harmonious image. Have a look at the before and after photographs below.

AlhambraCourtyardBlueOrangehalf

Before:
Alhambra Courtyard Blue; Orange Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardBlueOrangehalfinked

After:
Alhambra Courtyard Blue; Orange Chine-collé
Orange & Green Ink Hand Colouring

AlhambraCourtyardRedOrange

Before:
Alhambra Courtyard Red; Orange Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardRedOrangeInked

After:
Alhambra Courtyard Blue; Orange Chine-collé
Blue, Orange & Green Ink Hand Colouring

(© Catherine Cronin)

Photography into Etching Day 3

I have finished a 3 day course on photo etching at City Lit taken over 3 weekends.

It was a fantastic course; a great group to work within and an excellent teacher Anne-Marie Foster.

On Day 1 we were introduced to the principles of photo etching; the three different techniques to get source material onto transparent acetate in readiness to expose to a prepared photopolymer plate. We produced a test plate and printed it to understand the process and how to get tones to print successfully. You can read about Day 1 here.

On Day 2 I prepared one of my own artworks in Photoshop for tonal photo etching; and printed test plates. You can read about Day 2 here.

Photo into Etching Day 3: The Final Prints

AlhambraFinalPlateweb

Alhambra Courtyard Final Plate

On Day 3 I wanted to try different ink colours, different paper, chine-collé, and maybe colour rolls. I didn’t have enough time to get to try all I wanted. Below are the various experiments and results. I intend to work further on some of the prints with inks; so more to come on that.

AlhambraCourtyardRed

Alhambra Courtyard Red

AlhambraCourtyardRedYellow

Alhambra Courtyard Red; Yellow Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardRedOrange

Alhambra Courtyard Red; Orange Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardRedSkyBush

Alhambra Courtyard Red; Blue & Green Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardBlue

Alhambra Courtyard Blue

AlhambraCourtyardBlueOrange

Alhambra Courtyard Blue; Orange Chine-collé

AlhambraCourtyardBlueOrangehalf

Alhambra Courtyard Blue; Orange Chine-collé

(© Catherine Cronin)

Photography into Etching Day 2

I am attending a 3 day course on photo etching at City Lit over 3 weekends.

On Day 1 we were introduced to the principles of photo etching; the three different techniques to get source material onto transparent acetate in readiness to expose to a prepared photopolymer plate. We produced a test plate and printed it to understand the process and how to get tones to print successfully. You can read about Day 1 here.

To photo-etch and print a tonal image successfully from my source photographs or original artwork, I have to introduce digitally texture, like ‘dots’ to the image (like a newspaper image is made up of dots), so that the image photo-exposes and acid etches these ‘dots’ as ‘pits’ to hold ink and so print a tonal image.

Photo into Etching Day 2: Source Image

First of all I wanted to find a really good tonal image so that I could fully get to grips with the Photoshop techniques required for adding texture to the different areas of tone. I found a tonal colour image that worked well in grayscale, but I felt it was a little boring, so I combined it with a line drawing I made of the same subject. Combined in Photoshop using ‘clone stamp’ tool, and ‘multiply’ option on new layers.

Alhambra Courtyard Colour

Alhambra Courtyard Graysacle © Catherine Cronin

Alhambra Courtyard Grayscale

Black pen sketch of Alhambra inner courtyard.

Alhambra Courtyard Line Drawing

Alhambra Courtyard Grayscale & Line Drawing Combined

Adding Texture to Tones in Source Image

The next step was to separate onto different layers the dark tones, midtones, light tones and white areas of my source image. Using the ‘magic wand’ tool I could make these specific selections of tonal values and copy to a new layer. To add texture to the tonal areas we would simply be applying the filter ‘noise’ to each tonal layer; the darker tones would require a higher value of ‘noise’ than the lighter tones. As I wanted areas to remain as white paper, I did not apply the ‘noise’ filter to my ‘white areas’ layer. See below for a close up of a section of my image for before and after ‘noise’ filter is added. It is a bit difficult to see the ‘texture’ below; in Photoshop when you view ‘actual pixels’ you can really see a difference.

Alhambra Courtyard Detail

Alhambra Courtyard Detail
AlhambraCourtyardnoisedetail

Alhambra Courtyard Detail With ‘Noise’ Filter

Once I was happy with my filter application I printed out the source image onto acetate and printed a test plate to see how the tones would print.

Alhambra Courtyard Acetate Test 1

AlhambraCourtyardTestPlate1web

Alhambra Courtyard Test Plate 1

It is hard to see in the images below but after my first print I felt I could add more ‘noise’ to the darker tones in my image and lessen the amount of ‘noise’ on the midtones i.e to make dark areas darker and midtones area lighter.

AlhambraTest1web

Alhambra Courtyard Test Print 1

I adjusted my image; printed onto acetate and printed a second test plate; which I think printed better than the first – though admittedly hard to see the difference on here.

AlhambraTest2web

Alhambra Courtyard Test Print 2

Anyway I managed to prepare a final printing plate from the 2nd acetate I prepared, so Day 3 will be spent in final proofing of the image; trying different ink colours, trying different paper, trying areas of chine-collé, and maybe trying colour rolls.

AlhambraFinalPlateweb

Alhambra Courtyard Final Plate

AlhambraFinalPlateCUweb

Alhambra Courtyard Final Plate Detail

(© Catherine Cronin)