Friday, January 2, 2009

Koi - experimenting with inks

I received some sample ink colours (yellow ochre, Cadmium primrose yellow, Cadmium red medium light, and I think one more, but I can't recall what it is now!) from Faust in their AquaLine series of water soluble inks (see here and here for my ink trials where I included Faust inks). I was in conversation with Peter Faust about wanting some other colours, and he again very generously sent me some samples to play with. I believe I received the inks in spring. I didn't get around to trying this until the summer. I was kind intending on blogging about this as soon as it was finished, but when I'd done my "last" layer, I didn't think it was finished, so I put it away until this week. When I pulled it out and had a look at it again, I decided that it was as finished as it was going to get, that I was happy enough with it to edition, and that I might try again but using the MDF in future. Again, this was printed with the black linoleum, which, I now understand, stretched under the pressure of the press (this was the first edition I did on the big press, I believe).

The purpose of this print was twofold: to experiment with my lovely new sample inks, and to try to create a print using very translucent colours. I really wanted the colours of all the layers to come through. Well, I succeeded, and hoped that the final colour would be more opaque, but it wasn't. As a result, the sloppy, er, selective inking that I'd done with the rather opaque cad red showed through more than I wanted.

OK, so here's the WIP:

The first layer is far too pale to see well in the photo, but it was enough to let some of the paper show through. It was a very subtle layer of mostly transparent medium with a touch of pigment, I believe the cad primrose.

The second layer is selectively inked to just add some darker primrose to the body:

The third layer is primrose with a touch of cad red, again just selectively inked on the head:

The fourth layer is now starting to show the volume of the image, the shading of the under-parts, and defining the fins. This is a very translucent layer with a hint each of ultramarine and raw umber:

A slightly darker fifth layer, continuing with the previous idea, with a little more ultramarine in the mix:

The sixth layer is primarily transparent medium, with some cad red:

I thought the red would be covered by the final layer, you can still see some of the rough brayering in the background. I sort of fixed it by brayering a bit more red all around the background, which made it less blue than I'd hoped, but here's the final layer (I think mostly ultramarine and raw umber but also some transparent medium:

As I said, the print worked well enough for an edition, albeit small (only five). I really like the way the translucent layers work. I'd like to try again, but a little more careful application of the brayer next time, or perhaps two blocks (which likely is what I should have done in the first place!). I shall be shipping one of these to Faust to thank them for their samples.


mizu designs said...

Gorgeous colours in this koi print Amie!

Amie Roman said...

Thanks so much Kylie!