5.2 and 5.3 Coloured prints

My coloured inks having arrived I gave the monoprint exercises an other go. I wanted to try and combine different colours.

The traced print turned out very nice. I rolled the colours on the plate roughly where the head and hand (umber), the torso (magenta) and the background (phtalo blue) would be. Having watched the videos on printing technique on the OCA student site I was careful to achieve a thin layer of ink.

Traced multicol
Traced monoprint, relief ink on drawing paper

I have managed to get the colours almost in the right place. Where they miss the drawing – in the hand, the hair and a cheek – it does not feel wrong. I think it adds interest and gives the drawing character.

As before I wanted to use the marks on the plate for a reductive print so I was careful not to remove too much ink where I wanted dark colours in the reductive print. This gave the traced print the character of a partial negative. However, this time round the drawing is not as good as the first one and the features of the face become harder to read.

I also wish I had made the background pick up more colour.

I think this technique works very well with traced monoprints.

The reductive print from this plate did not work out quite as well. With this technique more of the colour fields transfer to the print. Where they do not match the drawing they are stronger than the line and disturb the shapes. The shoulder on the left side seems to be too high up due to the red colour field ending there. The brown around the head has not as strong an impact. Also I do not like the roller marks being as visible as they are. They make lines where there shouldn’t be any, especially in the face.

reduct multicol
Reductive print, relief ink on wetted watercolour paper

The traced print had taken off too much ink to allow for dark darks in this second print so I tried to fill them in by adding undiluted ink. The contrast turned out too strong, especially in the eyes.

To pick up as much ink as possible I wetted the paper as described in the printmaking video. This worked well. The marks on the wetted paper become softer than on dry, thin paper. I used smooth watercolour paper but it still shows quite a strong tooth in this print. I like the more evenly inked fields on the jutepaper better.


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