trial proofs

I’ve had several readers express an interest in seeing the development of a print after I wrote about my excitement when the first proofs came through the wide format inkjet printer. This feeling is true no matter what type of prints one works on, from the wooden-spoon-rubbed linocut one does in grade school to the finely etched copperplate, and other printmaking media. Proofing is an essential process as I hope you will see in the following descriptions and photos. The photos are of the same piece shown in detail in the above linked post.

The first photo shows the first trial print that I took of a collagraph that I made to be printed on top of an inkjet print. This one is printed on plain white art proofing paper.

The second photo shows the collagraph printed over the top of the first proof of the inkjet print of the rocks, done on non-coated art paper. The inkjet print looks washed out.

For the third proof, I switched to a coated inkjet paper for the rock print. Do you see how the colours just pop out and the blacks are deep and velvety (okay, the photo isn’t that great.) I printed the collagraph on top of this, paying a great deal of attention to how it’s inked and wiped, compared to that first proof.

I’m quite excited by this one. In fact, I realized that it is a complete piece without a printed transparency layer over it which I’d originally planned to do (and have been doing with the earlier Silent Messenger pieces). The work spoke to me just the way it is, and I had to respond to it, rather than forcing my initial plan on it.

Because I was having problems with the inkjet paper tearing a bit on the embossings in the collagraph, I’ve been doing numerous tests to figure out how long the inkjet printed paper had to be soaked in water, the ink consistency, and the pressure of the printer roller. Of course, us artists are always the first to try something different with new material, in this case to subject papers meant for inkjet printers to the rigours of a highly embossed collagraph and a traditional printing press!

Today, I had a breakthrough, so now I will be able to carry on and edition the first two of the series that are ready. That may not be until January as I will be taking a break from the studio over the holidays.

Readers, I do hope this gives some understanding of the process. Please feel free to ask questions!

December 8, 2006 in Being an Artist, Digital printmaking, Printmaking by Marja-Leena