Sunday, 11 May 2014

Unit X Post 5

Carvings before varnishing

Having finished the carving, I now have to concentrate on colour and layouts.  It is not easy mixing colours with the thick oil based ink as they take a long time to blend.  I sent off for some new ink from Intaglio printmakers in London and I spent a couple of days mixing and testing colours.  I originally had in mind a blueish colour palette, however looking at the prints I found a coral colour that I was happy with.  I also experimented with bright red, gold silver etc.  I decided to eliminate the blue all together in favour of a greeny turquoise.  I am a bit out of my comfort zone with these brighter shades; however I wanted to try and use colours that are not typically associated with traditional block printing.

I have found it can take up to half an hour to remix a particular shade of colour and get the right consistency of ink.  This feels quite frustrating; it is very different to painting and can often feel very limiting.  It is hard to be creative when it takes so long and can sometimes be quite disheartening.  This is probably the only negative side of printing and takes a lot of patience.

Colour testing

I started painting the wallpaper with Annie Sloan chalk paint which gives the paper more of a texture.  Changing the colour behind the print completely alters the mood of the design.  I saw the very old wallpapers in the Victoria and Albert museum archives and admired the chalky textures they had.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for backgrounds
I started experimenting with different layouts and combinations of the blocks on the wallpaper, It seemed there could be endless different ways of combining colours and design layouts, however I realise I will only have a couple of weeks to experiment before I need to decide on the final designs.  Time in the print room seems to go very fast and I often wish it was open later than 4.30.

Samples on wallpaper

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