Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Two Exemplars"

(image 1)

(image 2)

An exemplar is an example, model, or pattern to refer to when doing something. In this case I have an exemplar showing Spencerian Script miniscules (or lower case letters). The other exemplar is showing some different ways of printing on rice paper to create a pattern, texture, or both.

There was no posting yesterday because I was "knee deep" in setting up for a "mono printing on rice paper event" in my studio. I also taught two of my private students in Spencerian Script this week and that piece (image 1) also shows a technique with rice paper.

In the first strip of image two, I placed about a 1/2 tsp. of Speedball Printing Ink (water soluble) on my glass surface and brayered it out in all directions to app. the size of my print. I then created a "chevron" pattern using (3) different sizes of broad edged shaper tools. You can also use credit cards cut to the width you want.

In the second strip of image two, I used a little less ink and two different sizes of cut up credit cards. You can vary the width of these lines by the angle of the credit card. In the first stripe, I changed the angle as I was going down through the ink to create a tapered line.

In the third strip of image two, I brayered out a fair amount of ink (1/4 -1/2 tsp) and made a diagonal stroke with a very old 4" brush....pressing hard as I move through the ink. In the same ink, (before printing), I made some gestural lines with the corner of a metal palette knife which created the very thin white lines. I then made the print, dried it, and printed with white Speedball Printing Ink and a rubber segment of circles I received in a package. After printing the circle, I dabbed the edges and part of the print with a damp tissue to soften some of the edges.

In the fourth strip of image two, I placed app. 1/2 tsp. of printing ink in the middle of my printing surface and brayered evenly in all directions, approximating the size of the paper to be printed, but I went one step further by brayering outside of that thicker ink on one end to create a gradated effect since there was less ink on my brayer at that point.  A commercial texture stamp was then use in a repeat pattern over all of the ink and you can see the gradated effect quite clearly.

In the fifth strip of image two, I again brayered out some ink and used my index finger to make different size circles. (with thin latex gloves on) I also dipped my finger in water to remove more of the paint...on the largest circle. The corner of a metal palette knife was used to create the thin lines inside the circle. (It is important to press hard with your finger.)

In the first exemplar, I used some very watered down gouache or walnut ink....smooshing it around on the glass printing surface and then laid the rice paper into those very dilute puddles. (If the paper falls apart, you have too much water.)  You could also use the printing ink or transparent watercolors. After that dried and was sprayed with acrylic coating, I adhered it to a 4" x 6" piece of masonite. I then stamped the image with the same stamp you see in strip (3). The surface was again sprayed 2x with spray acrylic coating and prepared for lettering. The lettering was written with WN Venetian Red Gouache.

The first point to remember about mono printing on rice paper is that all rice papers are not created equal. In the examples you see today, I used Shanghai....purchased from Jerry's Artarama.

The second key point is that mono printing is all about the amount of ink placed on the printing surface and also how much paint is removed. Removal of painted with some kind of tool is essential if you want to have some translucency when layering with other images or text.

The third key point  is the need to have very substantial brayers. The rubber brayers with metal (not plastic) are the best. Asel's here in Austin has some and they can also be ordered from Daniel Smith. It also helps to have .... 2".....4"....and 6" sizes.

The fourth key point is the actual making of the print. When laying the paper into the ink, use a clean brayer (preferably one with a clear plastic roller) over the print to make sure it makes good contact with the ink. You can also place a sheet of wax paper over the paper and rub over it with your hands or the back of a smooth wooden spoon that is flatter than most wooden spoons.

Last, but not least, lay the print on wax paper to dry or hang on a clothes line with clips from the office supply or regular clothes pins.   They will dry faster on a line than laying flat. You will also need to spray all prints with Krylon Acrylic Spray Coating (not to be confused with Workable Fixative) before adhering to a clayboard, masonite, or other surface.  (Remember, this ink is water soluble.)

To know what to do with your stash of printed papers, refer to other blog postings showing finished work to see some of the possibilities.  You will soon have your own ideas about how to use them.  (Storing them in gallon size color....will also make this whole process easier.  And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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