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Old 05-15-2008, 04:55 PM
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creating texture with styrofoam

the attached photos show a detail section of a new work in progress
this was printed using scratchfoam and linoleum block
photos one and two are the actual printed colour on paper that were created from the surfaces pictured in photos 3 and 4.
Grainy textures were made in a block on which bluish gray inked was rolled and another block on which a light transparent pinkish ink was rolled. The texture was created by pressing a sheet of coarse sandpaper into the surface of a sheet of scratchfoam. After pressing in the texture the foam was trimmed, glued down onto a hard matboard base and drawn into with ballpoint pen to create areas where I didn't want ink to print. The solid dark colour bordering this is from a linoleum surface. Daniel Smith oil base relief inks were used.
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Last edited by bridog : 05-15-2008 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:39 PM
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LynnM LynnM is online now
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

This is really neat, Brian...here I was trying to print my pink rocks with transparent ink to let the white paper show through, I love the effect you have achieved! I'll have to try it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:14 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

thanks Lynn
after having success with the scratchfoam I started thinking about impressions into surfaces to make textures and thought "what about creating a texture in linoleum with sandpaper?". I think if a softer grade of lino is used (such as your Richeson Easycut product) and running it through the press with lino on bottom facing upwards, sandpaper on top of the lino facing grit side down and a piece or two of matboard or plywood set on top of this to protect the press roller it might just work.
Then you cut away the areas you don't want.
I find the sandpaper gives a bit of an etched look (similar to an aquatint bite).
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Last edited by bridog : 05-15-2008 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 05-16-2008, 05:20 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

Love the look of the texture here, and I've got both the scratch-foam, and thanks to my cabinetmaker husband,ready access to tons of different weights/surfaces sandpaper to try out sometime!

It's going to be one busy Summer!
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:40 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

Very cool Brian, thank you for sharing this.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:29 AM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

I'm going to get some scratch foam. Thanks for the WIP pics Brian.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:20 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

Very interesting stuff there, Brian. I love the texture!

They remind me of microscope photos of cells...

-Andrew
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:06 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

thanks everyone
here is an update on this process
I ran each of the scratchfoam based relief blocks through my press 10 times yesterday
they had a very light pressure exerted on them by the roller plus the blocks had a 1/16 inch piece of matboard set on top. They were secured with thinner pieces of matboard taped down on 3 sides in a registraton system using the 3 hole punch.
The pressure of the press did collapse the foam I would guess by about one third of it's thickness. However this did not affect the texture quality overall. My main concern is that the block height be higher than the matboard that butts up against the block for the holding it in place for registration. To compensate for this I raised the block higher by putting another piece of matboard under the block (cut to the same size).
I am loving the DS oil relief inks. They roll out beautifully on my glass slab and grip my soft rubber brayers with no problem. In addition the transparent medium works very well. My only complaint is that the ink in tubes comes out quickly when I take off the cap....so it is a race to put the cap on before too much oozes out.

Here is the WIP so far...there a still a few more layers to be added... another colour in the background rocks and some detail in the reeds with an addition to the foreground dark pool of water. You might notice that the colour changed a bit in the rocks since my last post. Block size is 5 x 7 inches.
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Last edited by bridog : 05-17-2008 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:31 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

This is beautiful, Brian! can't wait to see the final. Are the reeds scratch foam too?
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:51 PM
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Re: creating texture with styrofoam

thank you kindly Lynn
I am looking at this print objectively and still think it needs some more colour balance into it (from my initial colour layouts and photo reference)
the reeds were printed from a linoleum surface using the smallest blades I could find (in this case Speedball #1 liner and #2 v gauge).
The only blocks that used scratchfoam (so far) have been the rock outcrops to the left and in the background (a light blue gray + a light terra cotta hue)
The wooden grip handle lino cutter set I purchased recently from Daniel Smith is very nice but it's smallest V cutter is no where near the size I needed to cut at this scale. Luckily I had some Speedball blades and use them to acheive those intricate little cut areas. I guess working small like this will be good practice for my future attempts at wood engraving.
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Last edited by bridog : 05-17-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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