Friday, April 9, 2021

Printmaking, Oh Printmaking


Seems like every weekend I’ve been printmaking and creating piles of prints. There is the good, the not so good, and the downright ugly. Some need more work. Some might like gel pens or colored pencils on them. Some that I use to clean the plate with are almost as interesting as the ones I carefully compose.

Printmaking is a lot work before and after. Prep work to get papers ready, a space cleared, paints selected, a work surface to work on, a place to put all the prints you finish. Then, it takes quite a while to clean your tools—stencils, masks, palette knives, bone folders. It’s been a time-saver to wear gloves!


Experimenting with different papers, as usual. Computer paper, card stock, various types of greeting cards, watercolor paper, mixed-media paper, printmaking paper. You need a lot of paper. Printmaking paper is so dreamy that I’d like to make an entire journal with prints from it. I have some on hand in both tan and light blue and could begin using the folios for printing and only bind it as a book when all the pages are done.

Mixed media paper is quite good also. Shelley Rhodes great tip of carefully snipping papers from coil books has been helpful but I also rip it out when I need More Paper NOW! Interestingly, the snipped or ripped pages both readily return to the book. I like that some brands feature a front cover that is as sturdy as the back.

Some artists don’t completely clean the paint off their plate before changing colors and actually like the gungy remains. I tried doing that with these three prints. You can see some yellow ochre paint coming through earlier prints. At first, I didn’t quite like it but have come around to see the beauty in its messy imperfections.