View Full Version : Drawing down the moon

11-16-2003, 01:22 PM

So much to learn! This is a block print, 8 x 10 on 9 x 12 paper, using speedball inks and a variety of tools. This is the very *first* pull - obviously a great disappointment. I pulled about 9 more off of it, getting mixed, varied results until inspiration hit me through the eyes.

My problem is the paper. It's an archival free scrapbook type construction paper >.< I had not realized it would be this rough! This entire set will probably need to go the route of the artist's proof, but then again this I how I learn.

When one of the better proofs is dry, I shall scan it, and attach it to this thread. I have many questions, and I don't quite know where to start.

1) This process appears to be incredibly addictive. It's rather exciting to pull the print away and see what it turned out like.

2) How much ink to use? Obviously this is not enough, but are there any guidelines?

3)Printing number, ad cetera. How many Proofs are allowed? Do you have to print the entire run at once? (I was up until 0200).

4)Drying, I've got them hanging from a clothesline from my ceiling.

5)Are there better inks than speedball for block printing?

I'm sure I'll think of more, and please, would appreciate your input.

lilkitten the printing kitten!

11-16-2003, 01:46 PM
We pulled block prints on regular computer printing paper. Not the best quality, but it is the right texture. Give it a try.

When you're rolling out ink on, for example, a plexiglass "palette", roll it onto your brayer until you hear what sounds like velcro sticking and unsticking. That's the amount of ink you want to use. ... um, maybe sassybird or someone else can explain it better. ;)

You can print as many as your heart desires. I was up to seventeen prints (using a different printmaking process) before my teacher yelled at me, but if I had my own materials . . . until you run out of ink or until you get bored. I guess if you were going to sell them you'd want to stop at something reasonable, the more prints you make means the less you can feasibly sell them for. But that's not a consideration for me yet, and I doubt it is for you since you've just started.

You don't have to print the whole run at once. Heavens no. I'd go mad!!! It'd probably be better to break it up, as you get tired the quality of your prints will probably go down. Get some sleep instead of staying up until 0200!

Drying, that works. That's what we do in my classroom. Using twine and paper clips probably older than I am, too. Prints aren't too picky. ;)

Better inks? I don't have a clue. Speedball is the name brand out there though, as far as I know it's like Winsor Newton for watercolors or Golden for acrylics.

Good luck printing! And HAVE FUN! :D

You know what's fun sometimes? If you start getting frustrated, mess your prints up on purpose, you can get some really neat non-traditional effects... :angel: :evil:

Alan Cross
11-17-2003, 02:47 PM
I think smooth paper is the way to go....give it a try.
Alan :)

Diane Cutter
11-20-2003, 06:18 AM
You might want to try Akua-Kolors. I mentioned them to Dorie in the "Trouble with Monotype Inks" thread.

They work very well with any kind of relief printing when you add a couple of drops of Akua-Kolor Tack Thickener. I've done some reduction prints with them that look like they were done with oil-based inks.

Also Akua-Kolors allows you to drop a step.... you can use dry paper. And they clean up easy because they are water-based.

Also make sure when you are rolling out your inks, no matter what kind you use, that you don't pick up any lint and roll that onto your block. It looks like you have a couple of specks that have white "halos" that were unintended. You need to really check out your block before printing to see that you don't have any "foreign" material.

Also check your block at an angle before printing to be sure you don't have any overlapping inking lines. Everything should be nicely blended together or you or going to get those faint black lines. If you hold your block up and look across it eye-level you can check those things out a little more easily. It takes repeated passes with the roller to even those out. Just be patient and you'll like your results.

I find that working in good daylight usually produces better prints. I can see all my errors better before printing them for everyone else to see.

Good luck from one print "addict" to another,

11-23-2003, 01:17 PM

Okay here's the final deal. I decided I just didn't like all that blackness, I wanted something more, and took my tool to it. I'm very happy, the radiating lines really catch the eyes. I ended up with like 15-20 or so, and this will make a nice addition to an upcoming show.

C&c welcome

"Drawing down the moon" 9 x 11 on Stonehenge printing paper, using speedball inks, linocut.

Diane Cutter
11-23-2003, 01:42 PM
What a stunning solution to a problem. I really like it.... very strong design quality and I think it "says" more than in your first attempt.

Also it seems you've been successful in rolling out your ink. I don't see any spotty areas as before.

CONGRATULATIONS... You've got a winner.


11-23-2003, 02:55 PM
Stunning. Great job! :D

11-23-2003, 09:12 PM
I'll be checking into those pigments, pronto. I've already done enough damage to the ol' checkbook in recent days, however...

Changed paper. Made a huge difference - this paper is apparently *designed* to be printed upon. Bought in in big 22 x 30 sheets, and then had it cut down.

Talkingbannana (love the nick):
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

I really think the solution held. My problem with my solution was whether or not it conveyed, 'night' well enough, and I think it did. I'm going to be doing something like this in sunlight type thing, with a different radiating sunlight texture, in order to create a difference in the viewing. I'll be viewing the other stuff as ap's and these 15 or so as the actual prints.

lilkitten the printing kitten

Alan Cross
11-23-2003, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by LilKitten
Changed paper. Made a huge difference - this paper is apparently *designed* to be printed upon. Bought in in big 22 x 30 sheets, and then had it cut down.

Glad it made a difference...good luck with your show.
Alan :)