Project 15: Bosworth’s Butchers – painted mono print with back-drawing

I wrote an early post about the process of deciding on the design/format for this print, see link below:

http://movedbybreath.com/printmaking/project-15-bosworths-butchers-printing-experiments/

In that post I wrote about experimenting in A4 format before working on the final print in A3, this post is about the process of print in the larger format…

First stage of printing – painted mono print layer

Printing plate before pulling the first print

Printing plate before pulling the first print

What you can’t see from the photo above is the images I had up on the wall to help guide my painting. I tried to get the A4 version enlarged using a copier machine but the enlargements were never quite right so I couldn’t place that underneath the glass as a guide. So it meant painting the design felt quite nerve racking I was basing my lines on images in front of me that were much smaller, but it turned out generally okay.

You’ll notice the colours I’ve used are different than the ones in the A4 version. This was a deliberate choice to move towards a softer more muted palette, as the bold blue and red with the black back drawing had lent itself to a more graphic/comic like feel. I wanted the final one to feel more painterly and gentle, I think these colours do achieve that.

First A3 (or slightly larger) print pulled from plate.

First A3 (or slightly larger) print pulled from plate.

The print itself is quite different on a large scale it feels much more exposed, you can see the brush strokes and textures clearly. But I think it still works to have a rough/loose style and I’m happy with how it turned out. The only part that I wasn’t too pleased with was the awning over the shop – it’s smaller and less precise than in the smaller print which is a shame.

Second stage of printing – the back drawing layer 

preparing the inking surface

preparing the inking surface

To help me get the ink for the back drawing in the right place I set up a little make shift registration aid in the form of masking tape. I know it’s not very technical but it seems to work most of the time.

Slate/blue grey mixed and on the roller

Slate/blue grey mixed and on the roller

In the A4 print I used a black ink for the back drawing and it was too heavy/dark a colour to sit well with the rest of colours, It batted for attention in an over powering way. So this time round I tried to go for a blue/grey that would still add definition to the painted mono print but without dominating the image.

Inked area ready for back drawing

Inked area ready for back drawing

And the result of the combination print is below:

Final Print - painted mono print & back drawing

Final Print – painted mono print & back drawing

I think the combination of techniques has worked well here. I also think having less areas of red in the image also helps to calm the print overall, it doesn’t seem quite as attention grabbing, which means your eyes sees more of the more subtle details. I added a few details like tiles on the roof which I think were effective. In the close up photo below more of the detail of the lines is clear. I think it’s also worth noting that the grey/blue of the lines worked well. There’s less of the smudge from excess ink on this print and the colour of the lines subtly enhanced the painted lines without overpowering them.

I guess the thing I haven’t mentioned at all is paper choice – I chose Zerkall Smooth paper, it’s a paper lots of printing enthusiasts recommended but I wanted to save till my last project. It’s a really smooth paper and the cream colour works well with the subtle tones of the print. So I’m happy the paper works with the print (if that makes sense)?!

Close up of the final print

Close up of the final print

Next post: Third print in the series…

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