A second shot at the still life exercise, and a much better result this time.
I changed the subjects to something a little more fun – a couple of Zoe’s toys. Here they are with a preparatory sketch:
And here’s the plate, ready to print. This took a while to do – I’m a slow worker – but to help I cheated slightly used my initiative and placed the sketch underneath the glass plate as a guide. The new inks were great and I paid more attention this time to the consistency of them, adding a little water and testing it on some scrap paper as I went. By the time I’d finished the last part of the image, the phone, the ink I’d applied first on the negative space and paler areas of the bunny had started to dry, so I went back over them a little.
And here’s the first print – I was rather pleased with it! (although you can see that much of the bunny colour has dried too much – some of the shadows were lost also).
After the first one I worked into the image on the plate again with some more ink, and then tried a print on some Somerset printing paper – you can see the paper’s texture coming through the ink which actually suits the bunny rather well. The phone is better in this print – made some corrections to its shape, and I like the light and shade on the phone in this print, resulting from the dry (white) areas.
The print on the Somerset paper shows some of the texture of the paper.
After this the ink was getting quite dry on the plate but just as I was about to tidy up I thought I’d try some damp paper, and got an interesting result:
I think the patchiness is because I didn’t wet the paper properly so that it’s not evenly wet, but I really like the full, blocky colour that the paper has picked up – I must try this again but properly dampened paper and see what happens…
In conclusion I was very happy with the results of this exercise. I feel much more confident now about ink drying time, blending colours on the printing plate, reworking/adjusting the image between prints, and achieving some light and shade. This time I really enjoyed the feel of the ink on the glass too. Looking forward to the next exercise…