Project 4 Textured and combination monoprints – final prints

My last printing sessions left me frustrated as I had ideas in my head of what I wanted to end up with but I found it difficult to bring all the elements of the prints together to create a pleasing result. I went through so much ink and paint, all by best paper and all the clearing up after each printmaking session was getting me down.  I almost gave up but after a break of 4 weeks or so during which I did some drawing courses, I began to feel inspired again to restart the final project.  

I brought out all my sketches, plans and printing experiments so far for project 4 and laid them out on the floor and pinned pieces I liked best on the wall. With a clearer head, I decided that I was trying to ‘run before I could walk’ and as I was only just starting out in printing, perhaps simple was best. I reassessed each project and decided to a) concentrate on only one subject at a time and complete each one before going on to the next  and b) to simplify each print to only 2 techniques but concentrate on clear prints, which are visually appealing.

New ideas….

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1. Town on lake

I liked this rollered background of the sky which when looked at upside down make me think of the sea.

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Last September I spent time on lake Como and took lots of photos of the beautiful towns dotted around the lake. I suddenly felt inspired to make a monoprint of Varenna.  I rollered a number of backgrounds in shades of blue and practised painting the houses directly on the printing plate which I then printed onto the backgrounds. 

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‘Cityscape’ becomes ‘Town on Lake’……. I was very happy with this mono print which though very simple, captured the feel of the water and pretty houses reflected in the lake.

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2. Girl in Doorway

Having reassessed my subject, I decided to concentrate instead on one figure silhouetted in a doorway. I planned to mask out the doorway, creating a brick-effect textured arch with a figure printed using a positive mask in black, standing in the doorway. I wanted to add texture to the arch by wiping and scratching the ink to look like graffiti. I looked through my photos but in the end settled on some free clip art from the internet which I then printed out on acetate and cut out. I decided to use acetate as I had a lot of trouble previously with my paper masks tearing or sticking to the background. I thought the acetate would be better. The acetate was stronger but I found that I couldn’t get a clear print so ended up making a new mask with card which worked better.

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I liked the background but the print of the girl made using the acetate mask was far too weak.

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Again, happy with the arch but the girls ponytail broke off and the print still not strong enough.

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and another pleasing arch ruined by poor print of girl!

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A change of mask, change of paper and at last the print I wanted….!

‘Figures’ becomes ‘Girl in doorway’

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3. Still life

Continuing with my still life of vases, I changed the colour and ink and quite liked the textured effect of this ghost print although the print wasn’t strong enough

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This one I liked even more. I do tend to prefer ghost prints but I think that it was the scratchy lines that appealed in this case. I decided to rethink the composition and make the print using back drawing on a textured, masked background. 

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New sketch…

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Masked background before back drawing 

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 Backdrawing but too dark and blurred…

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Backdrawing too faint…

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More experiments – all different and none exactly as I wanted but decided to stop and hand in last one….

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4. Abstract

Getting back to my abstract idea. Time was running short but I made lots of textured backgrounds, cut masks and added layers using the positive masks until I made a print I liked!

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This last print worked as I intended. I started off with a negative mask of the two shapes and rollered and textured the background by scratching into the ink and impressing it with cotton reels and ends of paper tubes.  I then added gold paint using the positive mask. I tried to give the impression of ancient text. Th ephors doesn’t show it clearly but i really liked the almost leathery texture of the mid-brown ink and the way the light catches the gold paint.

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One comment

  1. Good experimentation and use of varied techniques. Very creative. I particularly like your abstract final print.

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