Project 3: Two-coloured masked prints

Through my prior studies I have found I like looking back into art history and I wanted to use some other artists’ work as basis for my work. I played with a number of ideas in my smaller sketchbook and then developed these further into my larger book.

Two artists that had a strong appeal to me were the figures of William Blake and Auguste Rodin.

I was particularly taken with Rodin’s drawings of dancers. I liked the shape and movement he managed to capture whilst using solid blocks of colour.

I have an anatomy book which contains large black and white photographs of dancers in different poses whilst in movement. These I found particularly dynamic and a good source for this exercise.

I made some sketches in my sketchbook and then simplified the forms. Using paper I created a papercut, and liked the result.

As before I decided to scan this in and play with colour alternatives on the PC. After a while of playing I found I liked best the examples that were close in hue: i.e. red on orange and blue on violet. These were the versions I wanted to print.

1. First attempts – Dampened Simili paper – following instructions in the coursebook. I didn’t use enough ink and the mask was misaligned.

2. Simili paper – using two plates – this time attached the second mask onto paper using masking tape, this tore the paper a bit. Also there was a line of red across the top.
This line was possibly because the mask was slightly smaller than the plate or not straight or because I hadn’t wiped the plate edges.

3. Japanese Shoji paper – this paper was wonderful – it was so much easier to get a good transfer. In fact the ink just transferred using finger pressure. If I could afford this paper I would use it all the time, but unfortunately I need to be frugal with it as I have just one sheet.
To create the print this time I printed the positive version first and then placed the mask over that covering the inked area on the paper. Then I turned the second inked plate over and placed this on top of the paper.
I needed to ask for my husband’s help in order to turn this over.
I was able to get a really good registration and alignment using this process but obviously my husband would not be available all the time to assist so I needed to find another way.

4. The ghosts I quite liked but I should have layered the red and orange and forgot to use the same paper for both ghosts, that would have produced a different better result. (I overprinted these later on and didn’t take photos of initial prints)

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