In my first post about Rainbow rolling I talked about the design process, see here:
This post is all about the printing process and the final print! The photo below was taken at the start of the printing process as I got ready to rainbow roll my lino.
In the photo below you can see my first attempt at mixing colours for the inking plate ready for transferring to do the rainbow rolling. They’re far too bright and bold compared to my original design but at this stage I didn’t want to waste any more ink in trying to make them lighter so went with the colours as they were.
Below are two photo’s demonstrating the Rainbow rolling inking process. Simply put you line up your different coloured inks at a similar width to your roller and then steadily roll up and down, taking care not to move too much, and you get a blended Rainbow effect.
The next photo, shows how the rainbow rolling looks applied to the lino, again there’s more blending/bleeding of the inks together so it gives a more graduated colour change. I think it works well as a technique. But I wasn’t happy with the boldness of the colours it looks a bit psychedelic:
And here’s the final result combining the original mono printed background with a layer of white tissue paper which the linocut was printed onto. There’s a number of reasons I wasn’t pleased with this print. Firstly I don’t think the different elements make a cohesive whole piece, the background looks messy, unintentional/random, the tissue paper doesn’t add depth to the print and the colours of the rainbow print look awful. The colours of the linocut print clash with the background rather than complimenting it, this wasn’t the look I was going for!
Design changes – second print
After the disastrous first print I knew I needed to make some changes to my design before printing a second print. I looked back at my original design from my sketchbook:
In the original mock up I’d used brown paper as a background, and so I thought lets do that and print the second time round on actual brown paper. I also noticed that the background looked pretty sparse and felt adding some kind of text or typography of labels from the butchers might work. But I wanted it to be subtle not bold as the rainbow rolling print would be fairly bold anyway.
I found some embroidery transfers of the alphabet which my grandma had given me and thought I could cut some of the letters out to create the word ‘Butcher’ which could placed at the top left hand side of the image. Placing the letters there meant they’d be partly visible an partially covered by the lino print layer – providing a subtle effect. See a photo of the transfers below. They’re from a 1941 edition of ‘Stitch Craft’ an embroidery magazine, and they were used to be an iron on guide for embroidery onto fabric.
The photo below shows me arranging the letters on the brown paper ready for ironing on:
Because the letters were so old some of the ink had worn away which lends itself to a really lovely old effect which I think works well with the old world theme of the print. I’m happy with how the transfers looked on the paper. But I wanted a mono printed element to the print so designed a new label based on the ‘traditional breeds’ label in the butchers.
I made a an exact cut out of paper to create a mask the same size as the brown paper, then cut out the square for the ‘traditional breeds’ label. I then cut out squares to creates tiles which I stuck on to the square before sticking on the lettering. I then inked a glass plate with dark blue ink in a square the same size as the masked area, placed the label face down to get an imprint in the ink. Once I had an imprint in the ink I took the paper label away (leaving the paper mask) to pull a print. I didn’t take a photo of the result (purely just out of forgetfulness) so it’s only possible to see it in the final print.
Below is a photo to show the changes I made to the colours at the printing stage. This time I started each colour as a large blob of white ink before adding small amounts of colour, this enable me to get the pastel colours I had originally intended to use!
And here we have it the finished print….
I’m much happier with this print than the first. It’s still not perfect but I think this is where I need to leave it for now. I’m pleased with – the colours of the rainbow rolling much more subtle, the way the colours stand out against the brown paper, the subtle ‘butcher’ lettering. I think it could be interesting to see how the lettering looked over the top of the lino print, but I don’t have any more letters so that’s something I’d need to experiment with in my own time. I’m not entirely sure how well the ‘traditional breeds’ label works, I like the dark blue against the lino print colours, its a good contrast, but the lettering is lost, so it sort of looks a little like an odd blue square. I still think it’s a better mono print element than in the first print so I am happy in that sense.
Next post: Painted Mono print with back drawing