8/18/11

Collagraph: Antebellum

Antebellum 4.25 x 4.75 Glue Collagraph with colored pencil  Sold

Process shots start at the bottom. And let-me-tell-you, this is a FUN process. :) May I suggest that you collect the supplies and get started, pronto. :)
This is what the print looked like before I added some colored pencil. There are a variety of things you can do to the print after it's dry - which is why you don't have to be too fussy with the inking. Colored pencil, pastel, acrylic and oil all work wonderfully on top of the print.

After a trip through the press, *or* a good hand-rub on the back of the paper with a spoon or a wood drawer knob, the print is pulled from the plate to reveal this very painterly image. At this point, you can add more ink to the plate and print another one, or wipe the plate clean and add completely different colors to print it again. (Unfortunately, this plate was stolen at an art exhibit. I had it out to discuss the process - I was talking with a client, and when I returned to the counter, it was gone. Grrrr. All I can say to whoever stole it is Karma, people. What goes around, Comes around.)

Here is the plate, inked with brushes in the background, and then rolled with the dark blue on the raised glue linear elements. You can see that my brayer touched the background in some areas. but no matter, because this is a pretty loosey-juicey method with lots of wiggle room for ooopses and darnits.

This plate is so simple, I just love this process. This is a scrap piece of matboard, sealed front and back with Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish. The suggested figure in the hat is just drizzled elmer's glue. That's it. (If you have a choice, I'd recommend buying Scotch 3M glue instead because it has a tiny applicator and you can get a bit more control as you're squeezing the glue out onto the board.) The piles of printmaking ink in the background were added to the plate with bristle brushes, and then a darker color was rolled out with a brayer, and carefully laid on just the raised glue areas.


Art Quote
One authentic portrait of Leonardo by his own hand exists in a red chalk drawing at the library at Turin. Dating from the last years of his life, it shows the face of a seer, moulded by incessant thought into firm, strongly marked lines. The eyes lurk deep beneath shaggy brows, the hair and beard are long and straggling - it is the face of a man who has peered into hidden things and who has pondered deeply over what he discerned. The beard is no longer "curled and well kept," in the words of a contemporary document, wherein he is described as "of a fine person, well proportioned, full of grace and of a beautiful aspect, wearing a rose-coloured tunic, short to the knee, although long garments were then in use."

Mr. Berenson has suggested that the youth in armour, who alone among all the figures in Leonardo's Adoration of the Magi in the Louvre turns away from the scene and looks towards the spectator, is a portrait of Leonardo himself.
~The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci by Charles Lewis Hind (1907)


15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very cool. Thank you for sharing your process. You do inspire!

Laurel Daniel said...

I loved seeing this process. It does look SO fun and I loved seeing how the final piece evolved! THANK YOU!

Carol Blackburn said...

How awesome is that! Does look like a fun thing to do, Belinda. Instead of investing in the varnish could you cover the board with a thin layer of glue, let it dry, then add the raised components of the picture with more glue and use it that way? I assume the varnish is to keep the ink from being absorbed by the board.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Carol, you could use glue on your board, but I've found that ink doesn't release from the plate as well, and it doesn't dry to the same hardness as the varnish - it's sort of rubbery - which will reduce your details & give you trouble in inking/wiping/cleaning. Your plate will likely curl over time if you use glue, which would limit your edition size and cause you to utter expletives under your breath, so I would recommend getting the Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish - you can buy small containers of 8oz for about $6 on Blick and other in-store & online suppliers. And yes, the varnish blocks the ink and cleaning agents from absorbing into the plate, but it also makes the plate harder and stiffer, as well as slicker for releasing ink.

Carol Blackburn said...

Thanks for the information Belinda, I might want to give this a try someday. Right now I am plenty busy but you never know what will happen during the winter. I might need something to stave off cabin fever if the snow is plentiful. Doesn't that sound wonderful right now, snow....:)

adrienne trafford said...

this is wonderful - i soooo want to try this - and you believe it would work without a press, just with pressure from a book or something heavy?

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Adrienne - books wouldn't work, because you have to get in there and push the paper to the flat of the "plate" and get it to wrap around the raised glue areas too, so you have full contact between the paper and all elements of the inked plate. A book would only imprint your raised glue areas, because it's too flat/hard/stiff to dip into the little flat areas between adjacent glue ridges. A hand rub with a drawer knob would work, or you can try a rolling pin (like you'd use to roll out dough for a pie) covered with an athletic tube sock, to help press into the low-lying areas of the plate. This, combined with some touch up hand rubbing with a spoon or a drawer knob should do the trick. :O)

Gloria Garrett said...

Belinda...I just love this. I am not familiar with this technique. Are printmaking inks readily available at craft stores?...and what colors did you use? This is just beautiful. Thank you.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@Gloria, Thanks for the compliment. Yes, you can get speedball and Akua inks for printmaking at Dick Blick and most art supply stores. The colors I used were mixtures saved as leftovers from previous printmaking sessions. (Scrape them into a square of cellophane, wrap and twist, label [oil based vs water, etc.] with tape.)

Doodles said...

Hi there! I'm a teaching artist and want to do something like this with my kids for a one day workshop. Do you think that I could put matte medium on the cardboard beforehand, then use hot glue (obviously helping them!) so that the glue dries right away? And, tempera paint?

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@Doodles - you can absolutely prep cardboard ahead of time with the medium, but it's gotta be Gloss Medium & Varnish - not Matte - if you want the surface to be slick enough to release the ink from the plate to the paper. Especially if you're transferring with a spoon or a brayer instead of a press.
I don't know how much control you'd get with a hot glue gun. What if you gave the kids grease pencils to draw a simple design, and then you (and hopefully, an assistant) used the glue gun, or embroidery floss dipped in the medium to lay over their drawings? The medium dries fast.

Jo Murray said...

Love this process...thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

What type of ink did you use? Oil based or water based?

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Hi Anon - In this print, I used oil based intaglio ink, but it works as well to use water-based (akua, daniel smith, etc.) I've got video in the works to demonstrate this process on my channel: youtube.com/bdelpesco

Linda Roberts said...

This looks like allot of fun and I love your comment about accepting the "oopses and darnits!" We should do that more in life! I paint mostly in watercolor but I'm always looking to step out
of my comfort zone in search of other creative outlets. Thanks for the inspiration!
Linda Roberts