I wanted to do a trial run of a painted mono print incorporating back drawing, so that I could make any adjustments to my technique before printing in A3.
Here is a photo of the results, in the rest of the post I’ll break down the process that lead to the final print:
I was very aware of making sure to paint the ink onto the glass plate fairly quickly so I didn’t take any photo’s of the printing plate as I was working on it. The picture above is of the pulled print from the painted area. I am fairly pleased with the result, it has a great feel to it, giving off quite an idyllic picture. I like that the brush strokes are visible and the lines are slightly wobbly, it all adds to the sense of a lively, welcoming place.
I was fairly apprehensive about beginning the next stage of the print – the back drawing, as this had the potential to ruin the overall print. To give myself a good chance of getting the lines in the right place I drew some very faint lines on the back of the print (away from any ink!). I wanted the lines to add some definition to the print almost like when a fine liner is used in a cartoon.
I then set about preparing the registration of the print and masking an area for a square of dark grey ink. I did this by literally applying masking tape around the edge of the print and in the central coloured area of the print (see photo below).
I’ve recently set up an new area for inking the rollers and my inking place, using a set of Ikea draws which have a glass top. This helps me keep the printing area much cleaner so there’s less risk of any surplus ink affecting my work (see photo below).
Once I’d inked up the smaller glass plate within the masked area I pulled one immediate print using plain paper. This was to reduce the risk of there being too much ink on the surface which might end up covering large areas of the print. I then carefully laid the painted mono print over the ink and set about drawing on the guidelines I’d prepared earlier.
You can see the imprint of the back drawing in the white lines left on inked area below:
In the close up photo of the finished print below you’ll be able to see the lines more clearly. I think they worked well on the whole and have added some depth and variety of texture to the print. I do wonder whether there was a little too much ink still on the plate as there are some areas where a smudgy transfer of ink has caused a sort of blurring of the image. Perhaps using a lighter colour would help reduce this issue?
Final thing to mention – on reflecting on the print, my husband pointed out to me that the blue in the shop windows (meant to show the continuation of the horizon) was actually causing the horizon too look distorted. I hadn’t noticed this till he pointed it out and agreed so went back to my sketchbook to work on sorting out the horizon and what was visible through the shop windows. The end result is, I hope, the last basic design of the Butchers shop.