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.

 

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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!