The Dew Pond – First Edition

Collagraphs-001The Dew Pond before above and after below.

Collagraphs-002

I have now created an edition of 6/6 EV that are 7×7 inches on A4 white paper.  These have been embellished with Artist’s Watercolor paint and Derwent Graphitint pencils.  Instead of traditional prints, these look like small paintings as you can see brushstrokes from the plate when the varnish was brushed on and is one of the things I like about this type of printing.  By keeping the edition very small, I am less likely to lose interest during the embellishment stage as I start to run out of ideas on what to do next!

Now all I have to do is find time to mount them!

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The Dew Pond – Monoprints

CollagraphsHere are the before and afters of The Dew Pond collagraph that I printed with Hawthorn ink.  The original printing process did not go according to plan and I am not sure that this is a very successful collagraph to print from, however I am persistent and have not totally given up on it.  I decided to embellish my prints with water soluble pencils.  The print on the lower left was embellished with Derwent Inktense pencils and the one on the right with Derwent Graphitint pencils and a little Inktense.   Although the prints look better, they will not go into an edition, although I may label them APs and frame them for myself as I am emotionally attached to them being my first print babies.  I feel I still have a lot to learn  with working with the water soluble pencils and won’t try these again until I am more confident with using them.  These were the first prints I made on the Xcut Xpress and I have learned a lot about ink and paper since then (only a few weeks ago!).

I made a few adjustments to the collagraph plate by adding carborundum to the cattail heads and added extra linseed oil to the ink to make it easier to wipe.  I also purchased some inexpensive stencil brushes to use for painting the ink onto the plate.  It was a bit hit and miss, but as I wasn’t expecting much, I managed to  get some reasonable prints for embellishment later.

Collagraphs-001I used the Caligo Safe Wash inks in Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Black and Burnt Sienna (all the colors I currently have).  I was able to take a second print from the Black and Yellow Ochre.  I used an acid free, mixed media paper in white (A4).  It actually takes water quite well, so I am looking forward to adding a little something extra to these above with some watercolor and creating a small EV (Edition Variable).

As I was scanning and looking at my prints, I had an idea to make a further adjustment to the collagraph plate, and if it works out I may have another small, but different, EV to show you.

A Collagraph Revisited

IMG_3839This is a collagraph that I had made for my printing class.  There were some things I could have done better and which I eventually did when I made another, smaller one.  The prints I made with it at home didn’t turn out very well as I tried to print it by hand.  When I took it to class and ran it through the press, we got these.

Surprisingly, there was still a fair amount of ink left on the plate.  The ink above is water based Ocaldo relief ink.  After playing with the Xcut and my new version of this collagraph, I thought I would have another go with this again.

I used damp paper on a higher setting than I previously used.  You can see the result in the upper left, which is the first print I pulled.  I mainly printed with dry paper and got better results and then as the more I printed, the more the color from the very first print run started to show through.  I used damp paper to pick up the last print on the bottom.  Here is what my plate looks like now.

IMG_3904

The string is a little bit more flattened out as it has been through the press a few times.  The first time I used this plate, the ink was rolled out onto the collagraph.  This time I used a bristle stencil brush to push the ink into the spaces.  Since making this, I have learned that when using relief ink on a collagraph, it is better to use dry paper.  I have been doing both and it might be a good idea to start with dry paper so it doesn’t pick up too much ink and then use damp paper towards the end.  For me, it is all about experimenting at the moment until I can work out the best way forward.  The thing about collagraphs like these, you are never going to get a print to work out all the same as the collagraph changes each time it goes through the press, along with how the ink is applied.  Therefore, this will end up being a varied edition.  Once all of the prints have dried, I will have a chance to embellish them if I want to.  I may even print some off in dark colors only.  The possibilities are endless!