September 06, 2010

Ink Test Part III: Home Stretch

A combination of long weekend and benign work schedule has blessed me with enough time to really get ahead with my experiment.  I printed colour three yesterday.  I'm beginning to suspect this is one of those Murphy's law situations.  You know, like when your car is making a freaky noise it's not supposed to make but then stops making it as soon as whoever you've asked to check it out takes it for a drive?  Or when the computer at work keeps going insane and doing weird things but then stops the minute the IT guy sits down in front of it? 

This is what's happening with this test because here I am, colour three down, and there are no issues.  None.  No uneven coverage, no areas where the ink looks thicker than elsewhere, nothing.  Of course, this is really a good thing because I don't have to abandon the ink I've become used to.  But it's also one of those head-scratching things I really want to figure out.  Actually, I'm beginning to have some ideas on what may have been the problem with the last two prints I did but I won't get into that until I have this print finished, next week.  I figure I'll know for sure then, maybe.

For now, onto the results for colour three.  The interesting thing is how even slight changes in the colours of earlier layers can affect those added on top.  This time I was pretty successful in getting a close colour match in all three inks and, thought the print results may make it hard to believe, the third colour for all three variations was a blood red/maroon very similar to this:

Yet, despite my careful colour mixing, the three prints turned out hugely different from each other. 

Daniel Smith (water soluble):

My ink was maroon on the inking plate and maroon on the block.  But here, added over the preceding two colours it looks brown.  Plus, the petals now look less gold and more ochre than they did before. 

Daniel Smith (oil relief ink)

Here, the orange first layer obviously affects the third and, though still not as maroon as the ink was on the inking plate, it's definitely redder when printed and clearly redder than in my first version.

Georgian Oil Paint and Printmaking Medium

And a totally different result here.  In this case the ink mixture's inherent translucent nature factors in but, again, the end colour in the print is more brown than red.  

Very cool.  Normally, when I do my reductions, I just play around with my inks and take test prints until I get the colour I'm after.  It usually works pretty well although there were a couple of times I struggled to get just the right colour.  But I know there's a science behind it all, I learned colour theory in university, years ago.  This was a nice refresher course and great to see the differences, side by side.  I'm totally psyched for next weekend now.  

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