linocut, Printmaking

Four Colour Print #1

I have been quietly cutting a set of lino blocks for another stab at tight registration multi colour prints. I had tried this not long after I got my nipping press with truly appalling results. As regular visitors to the blog may know, I am not averse to displaying my trials and errors, mistakes and inexperience, but on this occasion I was so demotivated by the scale of the disaster that I never shared it.

It has took a while, but I have gained enough experience to feel confident that I can a) improve on my first attempt, and b) produce something quite decent. So I decided to do two things; I decided to blog this as I went along – I have done this in the past and felt that the more ‘public’ this becomes, the more determined I am to get things right and I so decided to do a four colour print – if I am going to do it, I may as well go for it!

I have deliberately not shown the design – I want to have a big ‘reveal’ at the end, or show the carving of the blocks as there is enough of this process on the blog already – I’m not doing anything different to what I did here, except for make sure that each of the four ‘separations’ was positioned precisely on the block.

This image shows the first block secured info the jig before inking. It has the largest print area of each of the blocks, with every successive block laying down a darker colour.  The blocks measure 126 x 106mm  and are being printed on my standard bright white card stock.

(note – I bought a job lot of this card on-line without any technical specifications when I got my press, thinking I needed something cheap and durable to practice on. After buying and trying more expensive branded papers and card as I gained confidence, I have come to recognise that this card is actually really good quality and very versatile – I think I have got the cleanest prints on this stock than any other I’ve tried so far!) 

The first colour is a pale blue, although on reflection, I think I could have been a little less heavy handed when adding the blue to the white, as I originally planned on this being a very subtle base colour. I need to try some more mixing and printing of very pale colours as I don’t feel that I have exercised enough control in this area, which is not a great start to this project, but not the end of the world. Expect to see some more on this in the future…

These photographs don’t really show the printed colour accurately because of the artificial lighting in my garage printshop so I have adjusted the close up (above) visually against one of the prints. This is not scientific I know, but I think I have got a fairly accurate representation of the tone of blue. This image also shows the quality of the print – flat, even colours and crisp edges. The image below makes the colour look a little more ‘electric’ under the flourescent lights:

I pulled about 20 good quality prints (I will be checking more closely before the next colour goes on) and a further 15 or so of a lesser quality (not inked up consistently, smudged or with finger marks) that will be used as set ups for registration. On the subject of registration, I will show how I have approached this in the next post…


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