Archive | printing

Gelatine plate printing

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I treated myself to one of those permanent gelatine plates at Christmas.   I have done gelatine plate printing before, but my sessions were few and far between because of the need to plan it carefully: to buy the gelatine, wait for it to set and then make sure I did lots of printing before it went mouldy.  Now I have finally bought one, I love it!  I have it out all the time so I can take a few prints whenever I feel the need to get messy, make backgrounds on the train tickets etc and I love the fact that there are so many tutorials and blog posts about it online.

You’ve probably seen evidence of its use cropping up on various photos of train ticket art, but here are a few of the prints I’ve made from it.  They’re not very polished yet but I’m still playing!    Since buying the plate, it has been interesting to see how it has affected my work and especially the train ticket art because I have been making that regularly.  I have noticed that I am most inspired by light and shade and the results of light such as reflections and shadows.  Also  that most of my best art is almost accidental: I make the background on the plate and then observe what emerges once the print has dried and draw it out by highlighting it or adding outlines or details.  Monoprinting, especially printing small things as part of a larger print surface is quite unpredictable and this lends itself well to this style.  I pick a colour scheme or colours which I feel most drawn to at the time I’m playing with it (it feels like playing when I don’t plan anything!) and then just go with the flow.  And using acrylics means that I have to work quickly, there’s no time to stop and ponder or the paint is dry before I know it!  It’s unpredictability that excites me about art, the excitement of not knowing what will emerge or what that paper will look like when I peel it off the plate.

red printed paper with circles

I used a cardboard tube to make shapes in this one

I scanned this into Photoshop and changed the colour (quite drastically!) and uploaded the design to my Redbubble shop – you can see on products here.

another gelli print, orange this time

Can’t remember exactly what I did for this orange one!

gelli print with stamped bunting and beach hut shapes

Bunting and beach huts

blue gelli plate print

I used a home made comb (cut from a credit card) to make these markings

yellow and red gelli plate print

another monoprint

The yellow and red print above came about in an unusual way.  I hit on the idea of rolling gesso on to the plate and then printing it on to the train tickets instead of painting it on.  It works well, allows more of the original ticket to show through and is a lot quicker.  But what I also discovered is that some of the words printed on the ticket were being transferred to the plate – this print is actually on paper and it has picked up the shape of the train tickets and some of what is printed on them!  I think it makes a very interesting print.

black and red printed train ticket

One of the train tickets which have been gesso printed – the red is acrylic paint and the black is Indian ink.

blue and orange printed train ticket with distressed effect

Another train ticket – I do like this colour combination!

Final discharge post!

This is the fabric I printed before I discharged it:

red purple fabric

I discharged it with the same screen and I like the results, especially the blue coming out – that must have been some turquoise dye that didn’t discharge.

same fabric discharged 

And a detail:

detail

The first layer of the next two fabrics is on this page of my blog and the second layer is here.  I decided that I preferred this green fabric horizontally as I could see sort of leafy/flowery shapes.  So I added a lot of circles and a few swirls here and there and this is the result:

green screen printed fabric

A detail:

detail of green printed fabric

The fabric in the photo below looked much better when I had activated the discharge paste but before I rinsed it.  For some reason, the discharged orange areas just looked like a paler gold but when I rinsed it, they turned a sort of greeny colour.  Maybe this was from the blue underneath that wasn’t showing when the thick discharge paste was on top of it.  Anyway, it’s just an example of the unpredictability of this process!  Or my lack of experience in it…  I quite like the results anyway, even though they aren’t as striking as I thought they would be.  It opens up some lighter areas on to the fabric.

blue and orange fabric

And a detail.  I mostly printed discharge paste with the same screens as I used for the original layers but I also scraped some through a circular stencil in places.

detail of blue orange fabric

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