Friday, November 29, 2013

Illustration Friday--Refrain

This project is the REFRAIN of my artistic life right now.  Since falling in love with the old Mexican printmakers when I was in Mexico a couple months ago, I have been working on learning how to make linoprints.  Actually, I have always loved prints, but those fired up my interest in doing them myself.  

My goal (right now) is 100 of them.  It really takes a lot of carving to learn how to do it--what works and what doesn't work.  I hope they're getting better, and more interesting, though there are some early ones that I think are very interesting.  But I've learned a lot about carving, and am starting to get the hand of midtones.

But this is a "refrain" because I am working on other projects as well.  But I keep coming back to this again and again.  Also, if you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you will see other recurring themes.  The faces (I do love faces), the wrinkles, the grins.

Three more.  I am just plugging away at them.  This one is a second stage.  The first one just looked like a theater mask.  If you want to see all of them, click on the "linocut" tag on the right.
This one is also a second stage.  The first one with too flat.
And this last one, I didn't think would work out.  The drawing felt stilted.  But the print doesn't (to me, anyway).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Intaglio puzzles

 There is only one week left of my print-making class, and then maybe one week after that that I can still use the studio, so I had better make the best use of my time.  What's different about doing intaglio this time is that I figured out a whole lot of stuff when I took the 8-week class last time that I can basically just get right down to the business of making images, and I must say that drawing on the hard ground is really really pleasing.
All of these are from reference photos I took myself, and all of these I drew straight onto the plate, and I must say that I really like this little portrait of David.  I'm not done with it, though I'm not sure what else I'm going to do.  I'll probably give one of these proofs to David.  That's what I decided to do for all the people whose photos I've used--give them a print! (And hope that they're not mad that I used their image!).   This one actually looks a lot like him.  You can probably tell that he is a gentle soul.

Now here's the mystery:  I left this one in the acid for 51 minutes (as opposed to the 30 minutes for the portrait of David, which I thought could have been etched for a little longer), and instead of delicate lines (like I'd drawn on the plate), they were big coarse lines (and all the hard ground between the closely hatched lines had been eaten away).  I thought it would print really dark, but as you can see, it didn't.  Why not?  Did it wipe it too much?  Are the lines broad, but not deep?  Had the paper not soaked long enough?(it seems there was a lot of ink still left on the plate, and it LOOKED a lot darker than the David print after I wiped it.) And what do I do to MAKE them dark?  I should probably try printing it again, and see what soaking the paper longer, and wiping less aggressively does.  I bet it was the paper.  I only soaked it for the time I was wiping the plate, and the wiping went really fast.  The paper for the image below had been soaking a long time, and that plate looked like it had hardly any ink on it at all after I wiped it, and look how dark that turned out.  
So this is the second stage for the bass woman.  I added more etched lines (not that you can tell in this little format).  The scan isn't so great because the print isn't flat since I propped it up next to the previous stage while it was still wet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lino faces #43 - #46

I might as well admit now that my plan is to do 100 of these.  I'm not sure if I have enough little linoleum blocks, but I can easily get more. 
The only way to get good at something is to do a lot of them (plus really think about and evaluate what is working and not working). 
These four all need some more work done on them, but these are the first state.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More Intaglio....

So the Beginning Printmaking class rapidly moves on to intaglio.  That's fine.  I love intaglio.  Last time I took a class, I just barely got started.  But this time, even though it will only be three weeks worth of class time, I'm going to get a lot done.  I even ordered copper, so I'd have plenty.  Here's the result of two hours in the studio.  It's not done, but I'm really liking what's there so far....

This is 5" X 9", bigger than I've ever made a copper plate before.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More lino-faces

Even though I haven't posted anything, I haven't been completely un-productive....
These first two I did over a week ago, and the bottom one yesterday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Skewed Sketch #25

I guess I'm back to doing these.  They're hard to resist, especially when you have a working technical pen.....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

I have to say that it is a joy to become reacquainted with my technical pens.  I hadn't touched them in months (too busy doing all sorts of other things), and three out of the four of them were all dried up.  I soaked them all in warm water overnight and cleaned them well, and only refilled one of them.  But one is enough.  I can do these little sketches at school while the kids are working.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Progressing ever onward in this print-making class.  We are now on to intaglio proper.  This week was drypoint.  We learned (again) how to bevel the edges of copper plates, only this instructor had a cool plumber's tool--oh, what did he call it?  a burr-remover, I think--that made it really really easy to do.  So much faster and less tedious than filing the edges.  And then polishing the plate so that the smooth parts print white.  And then making your drawing with a scribe.  Unfortunately, we had to leave the scribes there, and I'm not sure I have anything at home strong and sharp enough.

But here's a swamp woman.  I really wasn't done with the drawing part, but I really wanted to print it before I left, so I did.  I do love copper plates.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lino Faces # 38 and #39

Nope.  I am clearly not done with these.  I still have so so much to figure out.  They're getting closer to the visions in my head, but I simply don't know how to do them.  It probably would be worth my time to make some copies of some of my favorite prints--to imitate the kinds of marks and edges they have.


So, in a way, this is Round 2.  Round 1 I did for 29 Faces in September, and I printing 20 of the smallest ones together.  Now I'd like to do a block with some of these larger ones, but I don't have 16 that I like, so I'm making more, but already I see them as being different.  I hope it's growth and not degeneration.....