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bigblackbox
03-22-2005, 10:22 PM
Hi. Actually, I'm not even a rookie because I don't do printmaking - but I love them and have always been more drawn to prints than paintings. It doesn't seem to be one kind (eg, relief), but some quality they all have. I'm not sure how to put it in words. How would you describe the difference between the way "paintings look" and "prints look"? For me, it seems to be something about the texture of the medium on the surface, but I'm not sure what it is that interests my eye so much.

On a related note, I've heard of painterly printmaking, but are there also "printerly painters"?

sassybird
03-23-2005, 11:08 AM
I'm not sure what you are asking. Is it lithography where a painting can be literally made into a print, or glicee which is a computerized print? Glicee is not fine art printmaking, but lithography is. Linoleum (relief printing) is done by carving into linoleum and printing from that plate, wood cuts also fall into the relief cut category. Intalio prints are made from metal plates that are etched with acid, working the image until you get it where you want it to be before printing. All of these techiniques are fine art printing. When you ask about painterly printmaking that involves monotypes which are done by painting on a plexiglass or other such plate then printing it. You only get one print from a monotype.

bigblackbox
03-23-2005, 06:05 PM
I'm not sure what you are asking.

I was afraid my question wasn't clear. Basically, I'm trying to identify what it is about prints that draws my eyes to them. It doesn't happen with paintings so much, so I'm thinking there is something about the techniques of printmaking, a certain kind of style, that differentiates them. For example, do prints tend to be "cleaner" or more minimalistic? When you look at a picture across a room (from a distance) what characteristics tell you, 'this is a painting', or 'this is a print'?

I'm not sure. For some reason, though, I think I'm drawn to the way ink looks on the paper when it's been pressed. I don't know if there is a name for this. It seems to be something textural - the tooth of the paper and the clean-ness of the ink?

Sorry, not sure how else to ask this. Maybe another way is, why do make prints instead of painting? Or if you do both, what decides if the work will be painted or printed?

Or maybe I'm just saying I love prints, and I'm not sure why.

printzessofthenorth
03-23-2005, 06:12 PM
Hi. ....some quality they all have. I'm not sure how to put it in words. How would you describe the difference between the way "paintings look" and "prints look"? For me, it seems to be something about the texture of the medium on the surface, but I'm not sure what it is that interests my eye so much.

Hi b.b.box,

I know what you mean. I love the look of block prints and etchings. For me (I don't know if it is the same for you) there are several things that capture my eye/heart. The boldness of relief prints, the fine lines of etching and the dimensionality of the prints close up, all of these things and more.

Many block prints, especially woodcuts, when viewed IRL have an actually impression pressed into the paper from the pressure of the press. You can almost 'feel' it, just by looking! I think another thing for me (the printer's point of view), is you are never quite sure what you will have until you print, because the image reverses from what was carved or etched, and inks may blend through translucent layers or separate because of viscosity. The look and feel of ink on a fine japanese paper is very different than paint. I can't really put my finger on it, but believe it has someting to do with the thickness, especially in block printing, as the inks need to be thicker than paint so they don't sink into the little crevises. Well, I'm sure I haven't covered all aspects of this, just noting what immediately comes to mind.

It is nice to take time to consider why I began printing in the first place. Thanks for the opportunity.

debbieryder

bigblackbox
03-23-2005, 07:13 PM
Hi printzessofthenorth. Thanks - many of the things you mentioned attract me too. I guess it's not just "one" thing, but several.

Also, to get back to another question about what I meant by printerly painting... I just meant, if someone were going to make a painting but wanted it to look like a print (eg, like how paintings can look like a photograph or comic book halftone), how would they go about it? I was thinking that the answer to this question would help me understand similarities and differences between prints and paintings. Can you really make a painting look like a print? Or, as printzessofthenorth mentioned, maybe there's a difference in paint and ink that is just different.

Mostly idle philosophizing ;)

H2O_Baby
03-23-2005, 07:49 PM
I would also add to what Printz said, prints are often much simpler than a painting. The layers often are more distinct than a painting, not as blended (although depending on parameters such as the inks used, the medium, the style and the time between adding a new layer you can blend inks).

So if I have to guess, a printerly painting would have those qualities.

:wink2:

Hi printzessofthenorth. Thanks - many of the things you mentioned attract me too. I guess it's not just "one" thing, but several.

Also, to get back to another question about what I meant by printerly painting... I just meant, if someone were going to make a painting but wanted it to look like a print (eg, like how paintings can look like a photograph or comic book halftone), how would they go about it? I was thinking that the answer to this question would help me understand similarities and differences between prints and paintings. Can you really make a painting look like a print? Or, as printzessofthenorth mentioned, maybe there's a difference in paint and ink that is just different.

Mostly idle philosophizing ;)

Diane Cutter
03-29-2005, 05:57 AM
Well, bigblackbox (bbb)... welcome to our little printmaking forum... You may not be a printmaker bute we love those who love our medium.

What a great question! I think the others have somewhat hit the nail on the head. For me, since I am also a painter (oils, watercolors, pastels), I find that when I print it's a chance to simplify. I love black and white prints (I wear a lot of black and white, too) for the utter simplicity. Also there is a design/composition balance that attracts me. With paintings it is possible to cover up flubs with color... The shapes in printmaking tend to be very crisp (as mentioned). A wrong line looks wrong and it can't be dressed up.

About the term 'painterly'... that is used when paint application is very important, where you can see the strokes. In printmaking it can either be when, in a monotype, there is a lot of noticeable strokes or, in a relief print, when there is a lot of texture and line cut into the plate.

Keep asking those questions... we get so techy often that it's nice to have us think intellectually about our medium...

Again, welcome...

Diane

Ari Sutton
03-29-2005, 09:35 PM
Hi,

This is such an open question. There are paintings and prints that it is hard to distinguish between. For example, check out some of Chuck Close's photorealistic paintings and the prints that were made after them. It's often hard to tell which is a painting, which is a relief print and which is a serigraph. I love them all.

I, like Diane, also paint and draw quite a bit. I did an entire series of oil painting portraits based upon my rabbi woodcuts. I tried to mimic the strokes of the woodcuting tools and worked in a reduction fashion. In other words, I made the entire canvas black and used light (fleshtone or white) to create the strokes. So I guess a painter can work printerly.

I haven't put those paintings on my gallery yet. They are in storage because I had a house fire shortly after finishing them. When I have some time, I will upload them and put them up for you to see.

Hope this answers part of your question.
Ari

Joost
03-30-2005, 02:30 AM
Well Bigblackbox,

You triggered a great thread! You hit exactly the spot on one of my personal "art expeditions". I started out as a photographer, then moved into printing (silk screen, relief, collographs and a bit of intaglio). Only then I started to do some painting (without any prior exposure to it). Recently, I joint a figure drawing class to improve on my drawing skills.

I still am trying to find my right spot. All and all, I consider myself a "painting printer". And when I paint, in your words, a "printingly painter". What I really do like about printing is coping with the restrictions as certain technique has. These restrictions force you to simplify. To make choices, in what you emphasise and what leave out. "Less is More". It also brings in an intellectual aspect I like. And the restrictions trigger your creativity (Much can be said about the role of restrictions in music: how the restrictions of measures and scales trigger the creativity of the composer. But, alas, that would be thread on it owns. In a completely different forum...).

My struggle is that some of the printmaking restrictions are sometimes too severe, most notably 1) large sizes are difficult and 2) with paintings its much easier to get rich textures (I like to experiment with structured surfaces). So that's the reason I turned into painting a few years ago. But while painting, I very much keep the "printer's approach". If you want, check out my (still under construction and yet outdated) website http://www.joosthorsten.com (under "paintings").

In my drawing class, I find it interesting to see that my fellow artists, including the teacher (a very much "painterly painter") have difficulty to understand and appreciate this line of thinking.

Lately, I find a lot of inspiration in Sumi-E, the traditional chinese/japanese paintings. Definitely paintings, but (at least to my taste), very much in a printer-like manner: only the essential contours and details, black&white (or with just one additional color). Somehow, I'm going to incorporate this approach in my work. How? That's still part of the expedition...

bigblackbox
04-03-2005, 02:59 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Interesting to see the responses, and I think I'm getting a better idea of what it is about prints that I like.