Monday, May 16, 2011

Old Montréal Street - Part 1

I took this photo when I was wandering in Montréal at Christmas, as reference for later projects. I've been thinking quite a bit about attempting printmaking because I could make multiple editions of books, or smaller art pieces that would be considerably cheaper, and hopefully, therefore, easier to sell.

Naturally, of course, I couldn't just try a simple print. I decided to try a reduction lino cut, which involves taking a single piece of lino and carving it repeatedly. It starts with large light-coloured area for the first layer, then is re-carved for the second layer and so on, moving to smaller and darker sections (because they're printed on top of the preceding colours, similar to the way watercolour works). This destroys the lino block as you go, so once you've moved on to the next colour you can't go back and print any more. No pressure on a girl who's never done this! The photo above is the lino block with the image (mirrored because it'll reverse itself when printed of course) drawn in permanent marker so that it won't transfer with the ink.

Here is the first layer. I cut out very little to remain white - a bit of snow and some windows. I was using the corner of my desk to align everything, to varying degrees of success, but mostly it worked quite well. I marked where the block was to be replaced after each time it was carved, slotted the paper into the corner, and then transferred the ink. I made a few on newsprint to practise and check the registration before using the nice paper. It took a couple times to get used to how much ink and pressure to use - an ongoing learning process I think! One of them turned out with a really spiky texture because I had far too much on the block. Oh well! I made extra, and I'll get used to it.

Once that was printed I carved out everything I wanted to remain light blue, then printed over it in tan. I'd had a bit of a debate with myself before I started as to whether I should do the blue or tan layer first, since the blue covered a larger area, but the tan was a little lighter. I'm not entirely sure I choose correctly, but I think it turned out fine in the end.

I didn't just make a simple reduction print either - there are still four more colours to go! I'll post more photos soon.

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