Collagraph: Rainy Day Girl

Rainy Day Girl 4x6 Collagraph with watercolor and Colored Pencil
printed on Arches Cover paper
Available in my Etsy Shop. This collagraph was inspired by a photo snapped in Rockport, MA in the 80's, and it was one of the first collagraph's I assembled. This is a simple, straight forward method of printmaking you can do at home. You need a piece of matboard or illustration board as a base, some construction paper to cut out the shapes of your subject, scissors and an exacto knife, and a bottle of liquitex gloss medium varnish to adhere the pieces, and then seal the whole thing. Then, you'll need ink, paper to print on, some rags, and a wooden spoon to rub & transfer your print to the paper. You can see more process shots from my previous posts about collagraphs here, here and here.

Rainy Day Girl (scale)

After the print was pulled;this is what I started with before adding color
By printing this plate using a myriad of ink colors (above, printed in black, and below, printed in blue with less wiping away of the ink before printing), I have a variety of prints in the edition to play with. For the piece at the top of this post, I started with the simple black and white print in the photo above, and I added watercolor and colored pencil to get to the finished art.
You can print a collagraph without a press, by hand-rubbing the back of the paper with a wooden spoon, or a wooden drawer knob.  Visit this post to see photos of a collagraph being printed on my kitchen counter with a wooden spoon.

After inking and wiping the plate, paper is pressed against the ink,
and pulled away to reveal all sorts of interesting patterns and texture.
Once the ink on the paper is dry, you can go in and alter the image with watercolor, pastel, colored pencil or acrylic, etc. The possibilities and effects are endless, and each print you pull becomes something wholly unique from every other print.
The collagraph plate under construction, with reference photo, a sketch
and construction paper adhered to matboard with liquitex gloss medium varnish.
If you decide to make a collagraph, choose a relatively simple image, with a focus on shape, rather than complexity. For example, if you want to start with an image of a still life - choose something with easy-to-cut edges, like a tea pot, rather than a flower arrangement with a million little petals. :)

Art Quote
Like a scientist, Constable became so obsessed with the constant changes he saw in the English sky that he made more than 50 studies of varying cloud patterns; a fine example is Study of Sky and Trees. Many of these studies were even inscribed with indications of the time of day, wind, weather and temperature. At the end of the century, Monet was working on multiple canvases simultaneously, spending 20 to 30 minutes on each image, day after day, until he could create a series of the same scene, each describing the difference between, say 8:30am, 9:00am, 9:30am, and so on.  Living at opposite ends of a turbulent century, Constable and Monet were equally concerned with recording, as truthfully as possible, what they saw before them. These were direct searches for truth. Artists with such goals are often referred to as Realists, a term that today is usually considered traditional or even conservative. Ironically, Monet and Constable were considered radical in their time.
19th Century Realism, by Tina Tammaro


Marla said...

LOVE this! Your artwork is always gorgeous, and it's so fun to read about the different process you do.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

@Marla, Thanks for the compliment, and I hope the process inspires you to give it a whirl! Your lovely illustrations would make perfect collagraphs! :)

Barbara Muir said...

Super print and description of your process. I remember standing in front of Monet's paintings of Poplars in Stuttgart, Germany and feeling like weeping at the beauty. Up close the paintings were very abstract.

Love your work.