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Printmakerguy
03-02-2005, 09:30 AM
I am going to post this as a WIP for a couple of reasons. First, Since I have always been 'solo' in my printmaking efforts, I would like others to see how I work, and perhaps make suggestions... I would imagine that this is one of the greatest advantages of taking a printmaking class, the ability to see the work of others! Also, with any luck, someone will be able to pick something up from my technique that might help them... So, Here goes...

If you recall from one of the earlier brayers, I was asked to donate a print to the Fine Art center for an auction. After some evaluation, I decided that I really didn't have anything in my meager inventory that was suitable, so I decided to create a new piece specifically for them.

Now- What to do. I knew that I wanted to do something 'Florida', as it is to be sold at a silent auction, and I wanted to choose a theme that would be popular here. Animals always seem to be hot subjects, so I was thinking along those lines. Well, Yesterday when I was out on my bike ride, I saw a group of Sandhill cranes, and decided that was going to be the subject. I just didn't know HOW I was going to portray them.

Last night, Just as I was thinking about going to sleep, it just "popped" into my head, so I grabbed the sketchbook-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-sandhill.jpg
Preliminary Sketch

And this is what I came up with. A crane, in shallow water, with mangroves in the background. Am I the only one that gets these bolts of inspiration like this?? I have to keep sketchbooks all over the place (even in the car!) so I can record them as they come to me....

Well, I couldn't stop there. I liked the look of it, so I decided to keep going! I scanned my drawing, and printed it out, and used my 'wet inkjet transfer' method (I THINK that I posted this before)- To come up with this-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-xfer.jpg
The image is a bit weak using this transfer method, but is plainly visible. I like this because it doesn't use any nasty chemicals like acetone, just a little 'wet' water. Much safer.

After going over the image again in pencil, and changing a few small things here and there, I was ready to start-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-darkerdrwg.jpg

And, An hour or so later (into the WEE hours of the morning!!!)...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-startcarve.jpg

So far, I did all the carving with my speedball 'V' gouge. I do 90% of my work with that- It is CHEAP, but it works...

I will post more as I progress... The goal is to print a proof by this weekend... We'll see....

-Andrew

bridog
03-02-2005, 09:57 AM
Andrew
really like the look of this, it has a nice composition and the pos/neg balance is good, can't wait to see a final proof
btw. I too use a v-gauge mostly in my cuts
I am curious about the wet inkjet transfer method
what kind of printer do you use?
I tried both water and solvent transfer with my Epson 5400, however unsucessfully as it uses a new ink system called durabrite (waterproof and solvent proof I have learned :(
I have an older Epson stylus 600 so think I will try printing my image on that and see if it works
(also learned that Canon photocopier toner ink will not transfer either with solvent)
Brian

CBHutch
03-02-2005, 10:07 AM
Andrew--Love the look!! Can't wait to see some proofs--it looks like they are going to be great! Thanks for doing the "WIP-thing"--it's fun to see how other people work.

Brian--I had trouble with the plain water transfer technique too. I did successfully transfer using gesso though. I put a thin layer of gesso on both my wood block and the copy (printed side), put them together, let them dry, carefully pull off the paper, and then gently rub off the remaining paper using my finger dampened with a drop of water. Sometimes I don't rub off quite all of the paper so that the image will stay a bit darker (and then I rub it off before printing). We have an Epson C82 and this seems to work for me.

Cheryl

cityscape painter
03-02-2005, 10:14 AM
Andrew This is a wonderful image and you have a great imagination. You have inspired me to do some more lino cuts. I think it is great that you keep so many sketchbooks. I will look forward to seeing how the piece progresses.
I am not familiar with the wet inkjet transfer. Do you just place it face down and wet the back of the paper and place some sort of pressure on it? I am guessing?

Diane Cutter
03-02-2005, 01:15 PM
I like your mangrove roots... really makes it look 'Forida'...

I've been having problems, too, with transferring. I found matte medium (acrylic) works fine, letting it dry and then wetting the back of the paper and rubbing gently to get most of the paper off.

The only down side of this method is I seem to have some residue on the areas I want to ink, so I have to rub gently with fingers, cotton swabs, etc. to remove the dried matte medium... because I don't want texture!

Diane

doug_h
03-02-2005, 02:34 PM
This will be quite a nice print. A lot of detail, so I wonder how big? I know you are quite skilled at working at the miniature level. Very cool.

Printmakerguy
03-02-2005, 03:02 PM
Thanks for all the encouragement! :clap:

The size is roughly 6 1/2" x 9"- Which is rather large by my usual standards.

The transfer method that I use involves printing the image on normal paper, as dark as possible- Then simply flipping the paper over onto the lino block, and carefully dampening the paper while it is on the block with 'wet' water (water with a little detergent added to it). I soak it, but have to be carful not to put too much on, or the ink will run. I kind of burnish it in place with a dry paper towel, which also removes any extra liquid. I pull it off the block before it dries, and as you can see, it leaves a decent image. The image is pretty permanent- It is like it stains the surface of the linoleum. It also seems to work best on the brown stuff (which I use almost exclusivly now anyway).

I use a cheap printer with inks that are not waterfast- I have a Lexmark (yeah, I know... I put the money into the etching press instead of the printer).

I have tried the Gesso method, but i dont like it, I have trouble keeping the surface of the block completely smooth...

Printmakerguy
03-02-2005, 03:16 PM
UPDATE

Well, I sat down at the drawing table (This is officially the FIRST linocut that I have done entirely in my new studio :clap: )- And didnt get back up for a LONG, LONG time. Several hours. I lost track of time! This happens to me all the time- You look up at the clock, thinking it is about 11, and it is almost 3....

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-birddone.jpg
The crane is done. I NEVER want to see another feather again!!! (I think that I said that when I did the goose, too...)

And, about 45 mins later....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-treesdone.jpg
The trees are done. Far less tedious than the feathers, but still a bit of a challenge!! I use my 'U' gouge for the larger areas, and cut them nice and deep so I don't have to worry about stray ink... At least in theory!!

And then, after another 45 mins or so-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-alldone.jpg
Phew. That was fun. The basic image is done now, Now I can decide on borders... I think that I am just going to use a plain border on this one, I dont want to take anything away from the image... Especially the feathers!!

Now, I take a quick rubbing of it with a hard (#4 or #5)litho crayon-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2005/36273-rubbing.jpg
This allows me to get a pretty good idea of what I am going to have when I actually print, without getting all the inks out and making a mess...

I make it a habit of keeping a litho crayon handy when I am working, I can check an area that I am working on out anytime I need to by doing a rubbing. This really helps me to get an image just right!

Looks like tomarrow is going to have to be a printing day- I have this one, my year of the rooster (yeah, I know... I am LATE), and a Goose to print... Time to dig out the nice paper...

-Andrew

Sunfilly
03-02-2005, 04:34 PM
I love this one Andrew. You know the water looks like wood grain, at first I thought you have done this on wood.

printzessofthenorth
03-02-2005, 05:11 PM
Great WIP Andrew :clap: Now, is there any possibility you will have any of these left over when you donate them to the auction...that is are you donating the entire edition? And are you taking any artist's proofs? And if you don't donate the entire edition or you do have a few AP's can I get one???????hmmmmm???????? :angel:

debbie

Printmakerguy
03-02-2005, 05:35 PM
Now, is there any possibility you will have any of these left over when you donate them to the auction...

I am donating one print, matted and framed, to the center for the auction, They don't really care how big of an edition it comes from, they just needed art!

zardoz
03-02-2005, 07:23 PM
very nice Andrew, I think everyone else has pretty much said it all so I just have to ditto .impressive as always

H2O_Baby
03-02-2005, 07:59 PM
What he said! I also like the display of "how you do this" which you might provide with the print. I would not put the amount of time, some plates take days and the non-printer reading might think all prints take a day to create.

Hey I had a supply of old old what do you call it - paper inked on one side to make duplicates when typing? Carbon copy paper, yeah, that's it! for transferring drawings to lino blocks. I actually do not do a lot of lino., but I have started taking it on longer trips so that I can work on the road.

Anyway either a) I can't find where I put it, or b) I am all out. In either case I need a new better method, so thanks, Andrew. I know my HP inkjet ink is water soluble, it bleeds all over the place when the COUNTER is wet and I am trying out a recipe...

zardoz
03-02-2005, 08:57 PM
[QUOTE=H2O_Baby]
Hey I had a supply of old old what do you call it - paper inked on one side to make duplicates when typing? Carbon copy paper, yeah, that's it! for transferring drawings to lino blocks.QUOTE]

ohhh my back hurts and my feet are killing me and now this .old old what do you call it . makes it even worse I went looking for some a few weeks back and the "young whippersnapper of a clerk asked "whats that?"

Printmakerguy
03-02-2005, 09:05 PM
I would not put the amount of time, some plates take days and the non-printer reading might think all prints take a day to create.

True. When I start a plate, I go all out- And work at a furious pace... You should see me and my studio when I am done- There are linoleum bits EVERYWHERE... I totally loose track of time, and spend hours and hours happily cutting. You should see the blisters on my fingers after today!!

Diane Cutter
03-02-2005, 09:38 PM
Andrew... I place an old beach towel on the threshold of my studio when I'm cutting. I can wipe my feet off on it when I leave the room. It's not perfect but at least I don't have linoleum bits down the hall, into the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom... well, not as many anyway...

Diane

H2O_Baby
03-02-2005, 10:22 PM
[QUOTE=H2O_Baby]
Hey I had a supply of old old what do you call it - paper inked on one side to make duplicates when typing? Carbon copy paper, yeah, that's it! for transferring drawings to lino blocks.QUOTE]

ohhh my back hurts and my feet are killing me and now this .old old what do you call it . makes it even worse I went looking for some a few weeks back and the "young whippersnapper of a clerk asked "whats that?"


ZD, I am 29 and not counting any more - that's my new math! BTW my new hair dooooo looks like your avatar, and I used to be a brunette... :wink2:

Printmakerguy
03-03-2005, 09:27 AM
Update II

Got up before the sun today- and it looked like it was going to rain, so I opted out of my normal bike ride (of course now I feel guilty), and decided to print instead. Here is the first proof, pulled by hand (with a baren), on sulphite block printing paper, waterbased Daniel Smith ink-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Mar-2005/36273-Proof1.jpg

Only 3 or 4 places that I can find that i need to go a bit deeper. There are a FEW spots that I didnt get inked right, and a little bit of 'crud' got into my ink so it didnt print cleanly on the front of the bird in a spot, but overall I am happy. I Couldn't figure out where the gray/black areas in the white part of the print were coming from in the scan- They aren't there in the print- And then I checked the scanner bed... There are some ink smudges on it. I'll get that cleaned one of these days...

Hey- I am AHEAD of schedule, too! That is a first!

Ok, now for editioning. I dont THINK that I want to do this one in black and white... I am thinking about a cream paper with brown inks, or perhaps a handmade japanese paper, with black or dark brown ink. I would appricate any input that you have as to colors, and paper. I have a LOT of paper sitting there waiting to be used...


-Andrew

Diane Cutter
03-03-2005, 09:49 AM
It's beautiful, Andrew... You really are becoming a master of detail, but so lovely...

I think your cream paper and brown ink, maybe a sepia, sounds elegant...

Diane

CBHutch
03-03-2005, 01:06 PM
Oh, Andrew! That is lovely! :clap: I'm with Diane--I think a cream paper with brown/sepia ink will give it a really nice feel.

Cheryl

printzessofthenorth
03-03-2005, 05:43 PM
ditto and ditto on the paper/ink choices. Think this is my favorite AG print of all time. Can't wait to see how lovely it turns out.

debbie

Printmakerguy
03-04-2005, 03:12 PM
TIME TO BREAK OUT THE PRESS....

It's edition time. I decided to pull an edition of this print on Japanese paper, with black ink...

First, I get the press out of it's home in the closet... I have my press on wheels, so it is SUPER easy to move around...

Then, I set up my bed- This is how I have started doing it-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-setup.jpg
I start out with a piece of paper directly on the bed. On this paper, I draw the outline of the block that I am printing, as well as the outline of the paper that I am printing on. Or, I just use a peice of paper that is the same size as the one that I will be printing on. This helps me line stuff up later.

Then, I put a piece of thin plexiglass on top of that. On top of the plexi, off to the sides, I put 2 strips of 1/8" masonite (see pic). This is EXACTLY the same thickness as the linoleum that I work with. The masonite is the full length of the press bed, and the rollers rest on it. It allows the bed to cleanly feed through the press, and eliminates the black mark that you sometimes get when the roller first hits the block...

Then, the felts go on. I use 2- a thin one that contacts the paper, and a thicker one that pads the roller.

Now, It is time to set the pressure. My press has microdials on it, so I have a pretty good idea of where I need to set it intitially, based on the last prints I pulled... So, I set it near that point, and then crank a sheet of paper through it (no ink on the block) to see how close it is-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-Embossed.jpg
As you can see, the paper is embossed nicely, which is what I am looking for. I think I am a bit TOO heavy still, there is a little bit of wrinkling in the paper. I need to back off a BIT...


Ready to go!!

TIME TO SETUP THE INKING STATION-
Here is how I do it-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-InkStn.jpg
Two tempered glass plates, the smaller one (with the white backing) is where I mix my inks, and do the first rolling-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-RollingInk.jpg
I then move the ink, on the roller, to a LARGER glass plate. I roll the ink until it is SUPER smooth and thin-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-Rolling2.jpg

And then I can roll it onto the block. The second plate is big enough that I can ink the block on it, too- Saves trouble later when cleaning up. I use a small peice of shelf liner under the block to keep it from sliding-


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-rolling3.jpg

Ok, Now that the block is inked, it is time to move it to the press, and pull a print. This is always the FUN part-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Mar-2005/36273-print1.jpg

Looks decent. Good even inking, no stray ink spots anywhere. Time to break out the good paper...

I got about 10 good prints out of this run, before I just got tired of printing. That is ABOUT the number I was shooting for. I still want to print this one on some cream colored paper, with some brown inks. I am thinking about trying some of my stonehenge paper... I have some nice buff colored that I think would work well...

-andrew

CBHutch
03-04-2005, 04:55 PM
The print looks great, Andrew! Thanks for posting all these pictures, as a newbie it's nice to see all the steps other people use. I'm still having trouble figuring out how to register the woodblocks. Maybe I can use some of your ideas to work with the 3/4" wood.

Cheryl

Diane Cutter
03-05-2005, 07:21 PM
Wonderful demo, Andrew... Well explained and great photos to help...

Diane

Sunfilly
03-05-2005, 09:00 PM
Oh this is too cool. I am salivating over your new inking table. Have to get or make one of those.

Ari Sutton
03-05-2005, 09:19 PM
Andrew,

Nice piece. :clap:

I have one question about the method. You said that once you do the transfer, you go over it in pencil to darken it in. My question is, doesn't the tip of the pencil make a dent into the linoleum? I know that in wood it is easy to make a mark in the wood where you are looking for a line if you work in pencil. I usually use a soft tipped black marker for my preliminary drawing.

Also I generally draw, after some preperatory sketches, directly onto the block rather than to transfer. Is there anyone else out there that works like that?

Ari

DLevy
03-06-2005, 02:50 AM
Also I generally draw, after some preperatory sketches, directly onto the block rather than to transfer. Is there anyone else out there that works like that?

Ari

I did a few lino's where I drew directly on to the block, I like the surprise of seeing the print first time in reverse, it looks like a completely different image. I also painted linoleum in black and cut into it without drawing first. It's fun, but wouldn't qualify for serious works (not for me at least- I'm not that good in cutting yet…)

Danny

Ari Sutton
03-06-2005, 07:48 AM
I have only done drypoint and etchings without predrawing onto the block. My professor often does a woodcut without any predrawing. His stuff is awesome.

Ari

Printmakerguy
03-06-2005, 08:14 AM
Some of my favorites are done right into the block! It is scary, but fun... You are right, seeing it printed the 'right' way for the first time is always interesting, you just never know what you are going to get.

-Andrew

Ari Sutton
03-06-2005, 08:38 AM
Andrew,

Does the pencil ever score the block?

Ari

H2O_Baby
03-06-2005, 06:28 PM
Some of my favorites are done right into the block! It is scary, but fun... You are right, seeing it printed the 'right' way for the first time is always interesting, you just never know what you are going to get.

-Andrew


That is why I like printmaking so much - the element of chance!

Ari, I'll answer cuz no one else has. I guess the pencil could score the block if one pressed hard, but in my limited experience with lino, that is not a problem. The others who do lino all the time and know different grades of lino could answer about different softnesses, but I have not had a problem with scoring the lino plate whilst drawing with a pencil.

Ari Sutton
03-06-2005, 08:19 PM
Thanks B. I guess its a bigger problem with wood. I work mostly with pine, which is soft. Maybe a harder wood wouldn't be a problem.

Ari

Printmakerguy
03-06-2005, 08:46 PM
I have one question about the method. You said that once you do the transfer, you go over it in pencil to darken it in. My question is, doesn't the tip of the pencil make a dent into the linoleum? I know that in wood it is easy to make a mark in the wood where you are looking for a line if you work in pencil. I usually use a soft tipped black marker for my preliminary drawing.


I use a marker sometimes, too- Especially if it is going to be a reduction, as it doesnt wash off.

I usually use a realtivly soft pencil (I am partial to ebony design pencils....), so it dosnt tend to dent the block too much... Might be a little more of a problem with wood, though...

-andrew

Printmakerguy
03-09-2005, 05:05 PM
Andrew,

Does the pencil ever score the block?

Ari

I haven't had a problem with that, but then again I use a relativly soft pencil and don't press TOO hard. The only problem that I have is the image gets a bit blurry while you are cutting, and you get a LOT of graphite on your hands, so I cover part of the block with paper while I am cutting elsewhere...

-Andrew

Printmakerguy
03-09-2005, 05:05 PM
Andrew,

Does the pencil ever score the block?

Ari

I haven't had a problem with that, but then again I use a relativly soft pencil and don't press TOO hard. The only problem that I have is the image gets a bit blurry while you are cutting, and you get a LOT of graphite on your hands, so I cover part of the block with paper while I am cutting elsewhere...

-Andrew

Printmakerguy
03-09-2005, 05:17 PM
The final print is framed, and off to the fine art center to be auctioned at the Garden party on Apr. 10th. I am interested to see if it sells, and for how much! I did get 2 free tickets to the event in exchange for the donation- and event that I otherwise couldn't afford to attend... It should be an interesting event...

-Andrew

Printmakerguy
03-10-2005, 05:31 PM
I dropped the framed print off at the Fine Art Center, and had to fill out a form... It asked the retail value of the peice- and I realized that I had never PUT a pricetag on my work :eek:

So, I had to guess a little... And, I have no idea if I was even CLOSE to the correct amount! How much do YOU think I should have put down? It was an A/P from an edition of 20, with 2 proofs, matted and framed, ready to hang. Let's see if the price I put on it was what it should have been....

Oh yeah- I'll even make it MORE fun. The closest guess to the actual amount that I valued it at gets a free print from the edition! :D

-Andrew

Diane Cutter
03-10-2005, 06:52 PM
Okay, $125 (since it's framed)...

Diane

PS How many guesses do I get? Can I change my mind like I change shoes?

sassybird
03-12-2005, 01:02 PM
Thanks for showing your process, Andrew. I would like to know how you do the ink jet transfer. I must have missed that earlier. I usually use carbon paper to transfer my drawings so that I can get it to come out the way I want it to instead of backwards when it is printed. Takes more time, but it works for me.