Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fjord Features

This image was done for our "mapping assignment". I like finding similarities between people and our environment, so I was inspired by the beauty of fjords (an aerial view), steep glacial carved valleys, and the permanence of these features, which are akin to the way our lives are carved by events and forever changed, or scarred. 

I decided to try polyester plate lithography in printmaking last semester. I have always loved the look of many litho prints, the way you can get carefully rendered images, like those of M.C. Escher.  Polyester plate is a newer technique, where you can "simply" just draw onto the plate with litho crayons, light and water fast markers (like micron, sharpie) and then put the polyester plate onto a hot plate to fuse the crayon or maker to it.  

The trickiest part is printing this plate. It works based on the opposing relationship of oil and water. Whatever you drew attracts the oil in the litho inks, so you sponge the plate withwater (and some gum arabic, won't go into) and then roll out your ink, and it should only stick where you drew! It should also  stick more or less depending on how dark you drew, so shading should come out. I had a ton of trouble with my light shading being removed, and had to re-draw the plate with the face on it (I had 3 plates, one for each color) 5 times, and the gradation still did not come out nearly as nicely as I would have liked!

Had to make a bunch!

Two color layers: some light brown and light blue

My drawing with litho crayon on the polyester plate

The result... Not quite what I drew

Result after re-drawing many times, about as good as I could get

Yay, kinda decent prints finally!

Ghost print of the face plate

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