Underwater Dreams

I finally got around to embellishing the monotypes that I made on the gelatine plate.  These were printed with Artist’s acrylic paint and then painted with Artist’s watercolors.  I used the 8×10 gel plate on Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed 140lb paper, 11×14 inches.  I was looking through my paper stash and wanted to see how this would turn out.  I completely forgot I bought Hot Pressed paper as most of the watercolor paper I have is cold pressed.  This is what they looked like before painting.

I really liked painting these with the watercolors, especially as the paper is so nice.  I cut the rest my Saunders Waterford in half so I can try it out on the Xcut Xpress and also use it on the smaller gel plate.



Stealing Ideas

For centuries artists have been using ideas from others.  That is how we learn and evolve.  The age of Impressionism is a great example of that.  Once the first person went off-piste and started simplifying their images, then they were all at it.  It is one of my favorite eras of painting and my go-to section when I visit the National Gallery in London.

So when I went to the print fair last weekend, I came away with a couple of what I thought were really good ideas.  The one I am going to show you is so simple that I don’t know why more people don’t do it as it can be very effective.

I had two trace monotypes left over of Amber and Teddy that I didn’t know what to do with.  So, I pulled out the 8×10 gel plate, rolled out some ultramarine blue, lemon yellow and sap green Artist’s Acrylics with some open medium and pulled the print over the tracings.  When that was dry, I painted in the collars with cadmium red.    I could have carried on painting with the acrylics, but that wasn’t the effect I was after.  So I stole this idea and made it my own.  The image that gave me the idea was just a trace with what looked like a gel print over/under it.  I couldn’t really tell as I forgot to bring my glasses with me! Doh!   So, who knows if I really stole anything?  Heh!

Landscape Monotype on the Gel Plate

There are a lot of new words I am learning in the world of printmaking.  Here is something for you:  What is the difference between a monoprint and a monotype?  A monoprint is a series of prints pulled from a collagraph, etched plate, linocut, lithograph, etc.  In fact, a print from anything that can be used over.  They are not unique, unless they are from a varied edition!  I will save that for another time.  A monotype is a one-off print and therefore unique, like a painting.  Prints pulled off of the gel plate are considered monotypes as it is not possible to replicate each print.  Lesson Over!

IMG_3857Here is one of many first layers I pulled off of the gel plate.  It took me a few pulls to work out my sky and then I printed off about 10 prints.  I was trying for something specific that didn’t quite work out and only had 5 prints left.  I left it for a day before I decided to try something else.  I used Artist’s acrylic paints with Golden open medium in Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber for the first layers.

I managed to pull off 4 decent prints from the 5 I had left, not bad going.  I used Burnt Umber and Mars Black with Golden open medium for the rest of the layers.  In the bottom print, I used some textured paper to make some marks on the plate.  The problem with printing in layers with the gel plate is making sure the registration is correct so I had a few issues with that.  I managed to correct it with the black layer, but it is not ideal.  There is a Facebook page called Top Printmaking Tips where people are really helpful and I learned about using registration tabs.  I have seen people use them for linocuts, but not the gel plate, so I will give them a go when I get some.

So, not a bad day for printing!