Positive and Negative masks (Cockerel 2)

Further research and experiments in my sketchbook led to my interpretation of Picasso’s “Le Coq”.

Wanting to try out different colours I scanned the picture in and then manipulated the size and colours using the programs: Inkscape and Paintshop Pro on the PC. I decided I liked the red version best for the subject matter.

The plate was a small A5 piece of acetate and A4 paper and tried a few versions:

• Spotted ink applied to acetate stencil on black plate – result was not very successful but I liked the ghost which had created some accidental interesting textures on the surface.
• Painted Mylar and printed onto plain paper (Considered doing this after looking at the works of Jules Henri Lengrand) – I quite liked the result finding this was a useful way to get a painterly approach and yet keep clean edges.
• Produced positive and negative masked prints using red. These were OK but I found that I hadn’t cut the plate neatly which was visible on one of the prints.
• Then I tried the same on darker paper. The initial version was too dark as the ink was too transparent to counter that and increase the opacity of the paint I needed to mix white and yellow with the ink, which improved the result. This is another element that needs consideration – the transparency of the ink and how that will be affected by the paper / other printing below.

Project 2: Positive and negative masks. (Cockerel 1)

Initial focus was on landlord’s chickens – produced a number of sketches and took a variety of photographs.

After researching paper-cuts, I realised that for this to be successful, the shapes: positive and negative needed to be interesting.

I produced a small silhouette study in my small sketchbook, which I thought could be used as a mask.

When observing the chickens I had a thought about how chickens can often remind me of dinosaurs with their movement and also they are their closest living relatives. I found an image online from a French encyclopaedia page which I thought could be incorporated. Unfortunately the image was portrait and my mask was landscape so I manipulated it on the PC and printed out some sheets to print over.

Initially I printed over dry paper and then dampened some.

I had read about ways of dampening delicate papers here, which seemed to work successfully.

When it came to printing I had a few issues:
• When burnishing I was not being consistent across the whole plate and so the result was patchy.
• Registration was an issue, especially with the printed paper – perhaps I was trying to run before I could walk here.

On the positive side:
• Particularly liked the visual texture of the printed paper below the image, perhaps I can use this in a different way in the future so that registering the mask within exactly in the centre of the sheet isn’t such an issue.