Friday, April 13, 2012

Color or Black and White?...

I finished the black and white version of this print a week ago.  Debating whether or not to do color, too.  I also printed another print yesterday.  Not happy with the image but think I need to add color to that as well. It's a busy time and I think it is taking a toll on my art.  
We went by the garden and the squash is growing fast.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Made progress but not quite finished...

 I am debating what color to print this.  Sepia brown on arches creme or black on arched creme.  I will print a mylar as a back up if I change my mind and decide to add color after.

Stipple brush and Korn's #2 crayon
I wanted to have a soft vignette of tone around the border of this drawing.  I used a greasy #2 Korn's crayon and drew around the perimeter of the drawing over the protected gum etched border.  Then I used a stipple brush in circular  movements across the crayon edge onto the stone.  This gave me a soft vignette.  I will need to be careful when I etch this because the drawing is done mostly with a Copal #5 Korn's crayon and this border with a #2. 
My guess is that I will hand paint 3 etches in this order:
1) straight gum
2) 2 or 3 drop (2-3 drops nitric in 1 ox. gum arabic)
3) 6 or 7 drop and painted etch
Korn's Autographic Ink

Going to the Tucson CSA for our veggies this afternoon. It's always and adventure there.  Vendor's sell their organic products and members share recipes.
This week's planned harvest is
Beets (mixed varieties), Carrots, Citrus (likely grapefruit), Collard Greens, Dry Beans, Plant Starts, Red LaSoda Potatoes, Romaine Lettuce. Yum.  Might stop by the UofA Community garden on the way home and plant whatever seedlings they give us.  Will document the garden for daily comparisons.

I found this long description of the origins of autographic ink on the Polymetaal site.  I painted on the ink to indicate the prickly pear cacti in the foreground.  My plan is that everywhere I painted the autographic ink will turn solid black.  Even though the painted on ink is slightly transparent it is grease loving and will print as a solid.  This 2 oz. bottle cost about $25 so be careful to reseal the cap with an air tight twist.  It is has a tendency to dry up quickly when exposed to the air.
You may not be interested in all the details below but autographic ink has other purposes, too.
Autographic Inks
Various transfer procedures are used in lithography. Transfers are made either because it is easier to work on paper - in fact it is easier to draw on paper than to draw directly on a stone - or in order to avoid damaging the stone which bears an original drawing. Transfers are also made in order to copy the same drawing onto several stones. The paper used for these transfers are, as we shall see shortly, of various kinds and the inks used vary according to the job they are meant to do.
Senefelder always showed great interest in transfers, basically because this method permitted him to avoid wrtiting in reverse, since transfers operate a double reversal (first from the paper to the stone and then from the stone to the impression).
In the beginning Senefelder used normal drawing ink but he soon realized that it was too hard and that in order to achieve a satisfactory result one had to heat the stone. The drawback to heating the stone was that it considerably complicated the transfer. To avoid this problem he invented a special ink for "cold transfers". The ingredients were as follows:
lac.....................3 parts
wax...................1 part
tallow.................6 parts
mastic in drops....5 parts
soap...................4 parts
lamp black...........1 part
If the ink would not come off the paper and onto the stone cleanly (when pressure was applied) Senefelder would add a bit of butter or oil to it. However, these additions could only be made by remelting the ink. The temperature of the room in which the transfer was made was of the utmost importance for good results. If the temperature was too low the ink tended to become rigid and the transfer failed. Later on transfer methods were improved, especially by the invention of special paper. The two types of paper developed came to be known as autographic paper, which was used for transferring writing and music, and transfer paper, which was often grained like a stone and was used for drawings. Autographic ink, which is used with autographic paper, can be either liquid or solid. A general recipe for such ink is given by Doyen, it consists of:
white wax.................100 parts
marseille soap............80 parts
lac..............................160 parts
dragon's blood............. 60 parts
purified tallow...............50 parts
(dragon's blood was used in this recipe as a colour )
This solution must be kept in a tighly closed flask. If it becomes viscous add a bit of distilled water, while heating the mixture in a double boiler.
For more information about autographic inks, check Lithography in André Béguins technical dictionary.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Working on small edition...

This is a sketch (see on the right?) I did a while back. I plan to finish this stone drawing this evening and give it an etch.

We're so excited about the community garden.  I love watching the seedlings come up.
I have two editions I am trying to finish before April 12th.  One is small 7.5"x11" and the other is 11"x 14".  Think I will print 30 each (the editions are around 20).  Meanwhile we are having a cool day here in the Old Pueblo.  These are the last days before the heat really takes hold.  Our plants should be okay because it isn't too cold during the nights.  We planted marigolds to help keep out some of the unwanted bugs and critters...back to my drawing.