Printing technique – UCA video

(Videos can be found in the Resources section on the OCA student website)

Monoprint >< Monotype disambiguation

According to Jonathan Jarvis, technician tutor printmaking at Farnham, a Monoprint is a one-off as opposed to a monotype which is a series of prints. Permanently marking the plate does not at all come into it. According to Drawing Magazine it is the Monoprint that produces the series (see blog post Research into Monotype)

Preparing the plate:

  • work the ink with a pallet knife. Cold ink is stiff, working it makes it softer.
  • Draw the ink out with the roller – the rolling movement has a flip (ensures even spreading)
  • fast rolling picks up ink – slow rolling puts ink down -> control amount of ink on the plate
  • Amount of ink on the plate:
    • thick layer of ink: saturated marks but hard to control (esp. for traced monoprints)
    • thin layer of ink: less saturated but results in clear and controlled marks
    • -> use not more ink than necessary. Listen! it should sound velvety
    • Traced monotypes need a thin film of ink for controlled marks
    • Reductive monotypes need more ink

Paper:

Direct printing (not put through a press) is very sensitive to the paper used. The surface of the paper remains much more visible and influences the outcome very much. There are special printing papers that are not sized and soft.

  • Thick, soft papers result in soft marks >< thin, hard papers allow sharp, crisp marks
  • Absorbent papers draw the ink in >< non-absorbent papers keep the ink on the surface (can become glossy). Jonathan Jarvis also mentions that the ink can be put behind the paper. I wonder what he means??

Wetting the paper:

Different types of paper need different wetting techniques.

  • Wet thin papers with a sponge on both sides
  • Thick papers can be soaked. Soaking time varies greatly between papers!
    • Soak
    • Let excess water run off
    • Sponge off excess water on both sides with a natural sponge to not harm the paper.
    • Roll between two sheets of blotting paper
  • Sync the wetting with the plate, both should be ready at the same time!

Modification of the ink:

By adding printing bases the ink can be modified. Translucent base makes the ink more translucent so it will combine with the paper or colour(s) underneath it. An opaque white will make the colour of the ink chalkier and less translucent. -> Check out what there is and what it does!

Overprinting colours:

  • Where colours are overprinted they become darker and lose some of their hue. Can be compensated for by adding an opaque base or white
  • Colour A on top of colour B does give a different result than B on A
  • Remember: The colour that is on top on the printingplate will be at the bottom on the paper, everything is reversed!
  • By overprinting colours a sense of pictorial space and depth can be achieved
  • Explore this! 

 

Source

Reeves, T. (Project Leader): Printmaking – Monoprinting, UCA Open Educational Resources. (parts 1-5) http://www.oca-student.com/resource-type/video/printmaking-pt1-introduction-uca-video

Art Made of Nature

Thoughts on Forest, Field and Sky, a BBC art documentary

This documentary  touches on the very essence of what art is to me. The artists presented all work directly with nature. Some use only materials they find on the spot, creating an artwork by rearranging what there is.

To me this feels like something deeply human. It is about making a mark, about creating something that would otherwise not exist, and something that does not serve any practical purpose. It is about seeing what there is and what could be. It is intuitive and immediate.

I am especially taken by the works of Andy Goldsworthy. I like the fact that they are ephemeral and very beautiful. And it seems he makes them just somewhere in the country, where he happens to be. No gallery, no money, no advertising involved. Although it is a bit of a shame that as a viewer I cannot visit his works, this is part of what makes them attractive to me. They are there for their own sake, for the sake of creating and for the sake of beauty.

Some of the works, like Julie Brook’s firestacks (cairns built at low tide with a fire on top which would eventually be quenched by the tide) or Andy Goldsworthy’s dry stone wall art, involve hard labour and dedication. They tell about the struggle against the forces of nature, and still they have something playful about them. I like that.

I think for me the point here lies not with the fact that these works are made from what nature offers. More importantly, they are made from materials that are already there and they are made for a specific spot and, sometimes, born from the moment. It is this that is important to me. The idea connects to working with used materials or found objects. Rearranging, changing an object’s purpose, putting things where they don’t “belong” naturally and so change the way we see our surroundings.

The documentary inspired me to try some of my own. It was the day after Walpurgis Night. I had planned to get some pieces of coal and burned twigs from a fire site and make something from them. It turned out the remains of the fire had already been thoroughly removed. I had to abandon the idea of a black piece.

I had come here with a very vague idea of what I wanted to do and that did not even work. But it was fascinating to experience how it developed by what I found, the few black sticks, the hole in the tree, the sticks of different colours. I rearranged them several times following ideas, first with what I had collected before I knew what I wanted to do, then with specific colours I went looking for. It was absorbing work even though it is so simple. Very rewarding to see it develop. I also enjoyed the freedom, no demands at all, only my ideas. It doesn’t even have to last very long, it is for here and for now. But I like the idea of people coming by, saying: Oh, look! Maybe wondering who made it and why. And maybe they then notice the colours in the winter-brown landscape.

Source

Fox, James: Forest, Field and Sky – Art out of Nature. BBC Documentary 2016

Tutor Report 1

The tutor report on my first assignment reflects very well where I stand and how I feel about my work myself. It is good to know that I perceive my work realistically.

I am very happy to have succeeded in loosening up my mark making and be expressive and experimental. This was my main concern with this part of the course and also one of my main reasons to start the course. My tutor suggests larger surfaces to work on in order to have enough space to be expressive on.

On the other hand I need to develop my drawing skills and observation. This involves more practice and doing things several times in order to learn. I think this is really important if I want to adopt a loose and immediate style. I have always felt that when reducing the information in a picture to a few expressive lines it is very important that those lines are right.

I am currently working on Tone and Form. Implementing my tutor’s suggestions regarding observation and rules of drawing fits in very well with these new exercises. The ones about expressiveness and going up in scale is harder. Or is it? (I spot a challenge there 🙂 )

 

Luis Deza

*1953 in Amazonas, Peru

His work includes paintings, sculptures and installations in a range of materials.

I came across these two masks in a café in Stockholm and was captured by them. I love their shape, the colours and the free use of materials. They feel like threedimensional paintings.

 

Patrick Hartl

*1976

Urban calligraphist, freelance graphic designer and illustrator, Munich. He has his artistic roots in Graffitti which I think shows in his pictures and is one of the aspects I like in them. Diverse experiments in illustration, calligraphy and digital compositing have devoloped his art into what it is today. He prefers working by hand but says that he is tempted  by digital possibilities, mainly in combination with handcrafted work.

For exhibitions, awards, publications and his artwork see:  http://www.patrickhartl.bigcartel.com/

Source: https://www.facebook.com/stylefighting/, published with kind permission from the artist

What fascinates me in these pictures:

  • Writing as a pattern
  • how they are built up in layers
  • the energy and movement in them
  • Cobination of the strict writing with handwriting and less controlled elements like splatters, drips and washes