My Landscape Collagraph


Here is my landscape collagraph before and after inking.  In my previous post, I showed how my prints came out by hand burnishing.  They were not so great.  So I took my plate to class and we ran it through the printing press.

The first print on the left didn’t come out so great, but my teacher cranked up the pressure a little bit on the press and we were able to get a more detailed print.  This was all done on dry paper and only worked as what little ink that was left over was still wet.  Collagraph prints are usually done on damp paper as a lot of ink tends to get wiped off and the damp paper can then absorb what is left over.  There are so many ways of working with collagraphs.  One thing I did learn with this one is that I used too many layers.  Sometimes you need to try things to see what works and what doesn’t.   I shall try this one again, but will do it differently and see if I get any better results.

Cutting My First Picture Matt

I thought it would be a good idea to try cutting my own picture matts.  Although my picture framer doesn’t charge much to matt paintings, the cost does add up and it is also a useful skill to have.  I bought a small matt cutting tool and looked on you tube to work out how to cut matts.  I had some spare matt cards to practice on.  The first one came out meh.  The second one came out better.


A lot of my monoprints are 6×6 inches or 8×10 inches as above.  These frames are ready made and will fit a 10×12 inch picture.  It comes with the mount on the right.  I have taken one mount out of a frame to use as a register and as you can see, the leaf print fits perfectly.  The only downside to that is it doesn’t leave me room for a signature or title under the print.  I may need to make (or find) another register to rectify this if I want to use the same size frame, or else I need to use a larger frame and mount.  I use A4 size paper to print my 6×6 inch prints.  This leaves me plenty of room around the print.  I worked out my border size with the bottom being slightly larger and cut out a 7×7 inch hole for the print.  This is a cream or off-white matt on cream paper.  Sorry about the glare, but it doesn’t matter what time of day I try and take a photo in this room.

In any case, I am quite pleased with how this print turned out with the matt.  I now need to find a good supplier for matt card so I can get on with matting my work, ready for framing.

Printing With Collagraphs


IMG_3839This is the collagraph I made that I didn’t take to class as I had some issues with it buckling in some areas.  So I added additional glue and put a very heavy book on top to flatten everything down.  Once it was flattish (as above), I inked it with a roller in three colors and this is what I got:

I rolled out the ink onto my brayer and applied the paper, used the baren, and this is what I got for number 1.  I tried this again, but my brayer is not the right type of brayer for collagraphs and I couldn’t get a better print.  In print 2, I applied the ink with a brush and then put the paper on and rubbed.  I got a better print, but there was too much ink.  Then I took a second print, number 3, and got a better print.  Not being happy with any of these prints (although my tutor thinks they are ok), I rolled out the ink on my gel plate, pressed the collagraph into that and got these:


These are not good, but you can see where I was going with the ink.  So I stuck my inky collagraph into a plastic bag and took it to class.  I showed it and the prints to my tutor and he took it straight to the printing press and pulled off two really nice prints that are drying on the racks.  I will have to show them to you next week.  Because I was really frustrated with my collagraph, I printed some more circles on the gel plate.

The blue ink really does not like my gel plate, but it does give a nice watery effect that I played around with, without any real success.  I’m determined not to let it beat me.

In any event, Printing Class 3 was very interesting as we applied yellow over the prints we printed in red last week.

We took one of our prints and cut masks from it with the idea being that whatever got printed yellow will become green when we put the final color blue on top.  We also experimented with putting newsprint masks over areas we wanted to keep red or make purple.  We made about six prints of each collagraph in red, so we had plenty to work with and try different things.

Some days one has to let go of trying to make a great print and just go with the process and see what you can learn from it.