March 25, 2008

Firebird: First colours

My long-awaited week off from work is here and I have way too many ideas on how to spend my time. Plus, R has the week off with me and he has some ideas of his own on how we should be spending our time together, so it'll hardly be the art-focused week I'm longing for. Even now, I should be planning out our trip to the East Coast this summer but that feels too much like work. So instead I've spent a leisurely morning browsing WetCanvas and uploading pictures I took of my printing yesterday, the colour reduction portion of The Firebird.

I was stressing about it before I began because I knew what I wanted to achieve but didn't really know how to do it. I was really wanting to go for a gradation of colour in the sky: two colours rolled out next to each other and the brayer going through both. But I also wanted to have a glow-effect around the bird's body and I just couldn't wrap my brain around how to combine the two. I kept staring at the block and then at the clock as the minutes ticked away and then opted for no gradation this time. So the first colour is just a very pale blue:

I had some hassles with the printing; I mixed two different batches of transparent medium together and they didn't get along. As I printed, the ink collected on the block in little blobs that became really noticeable even on the prints. I had to keep wiping the block before rolling ink on it after every second printing. This in turn used up a lot more ink than I expected and I almost didn't have enough. It was ok in the end but irritating.

The good part was that the ink was so translucent that it dried very quickly and I was able to print the next colour, "the glow", within an hour and half of the first. The only issue here was that I didn't want to waste a whole block for the shape and I couldn't use the block I have as is. That's when I remembered the Scratchfoam I bought a few months ago, just because, and it came into its own now. I cut out the shape of my glow, stuck it to the block with some double-sided tape and printed it. It worked very well, I'll definitely be using it again for such things given that it's a fraction of the cost of the wood.

This is the block with the foam stuck to it; luckily I remembered to cut out the parts that I want to keep white:

And this is the resulting print. The second colour is totally off in the image; it's way more yellow and not so brown in real life but I couldn't get that to show up here:

Now, hopefully, I'll be able to get the carving done for the next printing by this Sunday.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Nice! Can't wait to see how it progresses. :o)