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Old 03-30-2012, 08:32 PM
Mr. Fuzzums Mr. Fuzzums is offline
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I can't make sense of all of this information!

Hello everyone! How are you?? I'm brand new here but have been referring to this site over the years for various things. I'm a painter/drawer and am looking to expand my marketability by producing reproductions of my work. For now at least I just want to make prints of my B & W, very detailed pen and ink drawings. There is no shading or anything, its entirely linear. I had a poster made with an inkjet printer and it looked great but you know...printmaking is just so much more authentic feeling to me. Sorry for this long intro, now for the question!

How can I transfer the computer scan I have of one of my drawings to a master plate so that I can make as many copies as I'd like? I tried to research this but there's just SO MANY different techniques and its overwhelming. I was hoping someone could put this in simple ultra-beginner terms for me? I'm looking to do this for as cheap and good quality as possible and hopefully it will maintain the details of the original. As for sizing, I want to do one that is on scale with the original drawing and also a half-size version.

Sorry if I am repeating things that have been covered but any help or advice is very appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:34 AM
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inugie inugie is offline
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Re: I can't make sense of all of this information!

Hi, Its a hard question because you are talking about two entirely different things. A reproduction of your B&W work can be done in many ways - I really dont know much about them but I'm sure you have looked into it. What we on this forum do is not reproductions but a art technique in itself. If you have drawings from which you would like to make original prints, you have to realise that the process will change the image, and you will not end up with a reproduction but a whole new piece of art, which may be a one off or a 100 - your choice. What you have to realise too is that all the processes you read about on this forum will have a rather steep learning curve and a significant outlay in materials.

So onto the ways you can use your drawings for creating an original print:
1. Solar print, where you copy the image onto a translucent material, place this over a plate with a photo emulsion covering and expose it to the sun or a uv light. Then you wash off the undeveloped stuff, etch the plate in an acid, ink it and wipe it and then print it on paper with an etching press. As you can see this is a highly technical process and you will need help in learning how to do it, as well as access to a press.
2. Silkscreen - where you create a stencil of the drawing (many ways to do that) and then print it by squeezing ink through a silk screen and the stencil onto paper. Once again not that easy and you will need some help and materials.
3. Drypoint etching - this may be the easiest to start with if you are used to drawing - you literally draw/scratch your image into a copper or other plate with a sharp tool, then rub ink into the grooves you created, wipe it clean and print on paper with a press. It does mean re-drawing the image again as you transfer the image on the plate but have to physically scratch it in.
4. Etching - protect a metal plate with an acid resit ground, draw into the ground to expose the metal, etch the exposed metal in an acid, clean the ground off, ink it wipe it and print it with a press.
5. Relief print - transfer the image onto wood or lino block - cut out the lines with a sharp cutter (will print the negative or white line) or cut out everything but the lines, ink it by rolling a thin layer onto the block, print it with a press, a baren or a wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease.
6. Lithography - drawing on a stone and then using water/oil repelling properties to ink the image and print onto paper using a litho press.

There are many ways to transfer the image onto the plate, rubbing a toner photocopy with acetone will release the image, old fashioned graphite/carbon paper and physically drawing it again, and a few others I haven't tried yet. Personally I just draw straight onto the plate/block in the first place, which comes back to printmaking not being about making reproductions, but being a separate art form in itself.

Give it a go, its a lot of fun! Have a look in you area if there are any printmaking studios that offer workshops, you will need someone to show you the ropes.

Good luck, Annamie

Last edited by inugie : 03-31-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:35 AM
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Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: I can't make sense of all of this information!

There are photo emulsion plates. You get a large negative made of the picture you want to make. You place it over the photo emulsion plate (all in a dark-room situation) then expose the plate to the reccommended wavelength of light. The stop or etch the plate as recommended. I've done this with zinc etching plates, so I used the acids etc. There are also photo emulsions you can use on silk screen, which would be easier as they do not require an acid etch. I majored in intaglio print making in college, so I don't really know all there is to know. Here is a demo on YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leLnmGPy3eE
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Last edited by Use Her Name : 03-31-2012 at 11:39 AM. Reason: to make link clickable
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:56 PM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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Re: I can't make sense of all of this information!

Why not just print your scanned image onto Arches paper? I've seen artists doing this around here for many years. I wouldn't call it an original print, but it's definitely sellable/
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:11 PM
Mr. Fuzzums Mr. Fuzzums is offline
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Re: I can't make sense of all of this information!

Hey thanks guys for the responses. Some nice info in there and I'm very excited to try some stuff out. I got in touch with a former professor who should be a very good resource of info as well, plus he's just a great guy in general =). So again, thanks for the responses, I will let you know how it goes once I am in full production mode!
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