Your First Print : Support Forum

my first color prints
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Author:  Steve Sisney [ Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:54 pm ]
Post subject:  my first color prints

hope it was ok to create a new topic. i didn't want to pollute Hannah's "first Moku Hanga".

i made my first color impressions (pictured) and at least learned some things...

not using good enough paper: i moved up a tiny step to sumi-e paper from copy paper with not much change in the result. i have washi from an art store nearby, but i don't think it has been sized. maybe i'll try to size it before i try printing again, or find some washi that has been sized already.

paper too wet or too dry: i'm still mystified by the idea of using "wet" paper. i tried printing my key block with wet paper previously and couldn't get a single impression that didn't bleed and disentegrate from even the most gentle baren action. i had similar results with my color block, and ended up gettting the best impressions (in both cases)) with bone dry paper. and with this paper, my baren picked up some ink. i imagine that is going to be a problem.

my bokashi technique failed entirely: i was hoping to get a gradual fade from darker pink to almost white at top-right of the design, but got only brush strokes.

poorly planned design for blocks: the design is just too large (for these blocks) to attempt to get a satisfying result for a colored field around the design in my opinion, so i don't think i'll try to cut a second color block for that.

the design itself looks to me now like a child's temporary tattoo. not what i was going for. i don't think i'll cut anymore blocks based on this design. perhaps i'll revisit it again after i'm a better printmaker.

mis-registered color block: although i thought i had transferred the registration marks ok, they are clearly not aligned well. i also practiced moving the paper from the input pile to the block and felt that was going ok, but the prints show that the registration is off in every direction, so both aspects need more careful attention i guess.

my key block had warped: while cutting my color block, i noticed that my key block had warped. i had dried it flat on my kitchen table, out of the sunlight, and then wrapped it in newspaper and put it away with my other print tools and materials. i wet the convex side and put it under some heavy books overnight and that flattened it out ok. how can i keep these little blocks from warping?

finally, my small marubake brush is cracking: i'm not sure why but it keeps getting worse, as if it will eventually split in two. i've been using it too clean my blocks after cutting, and after printing, and then i wash it with water. is it not supposed to get wet at all?

even with these issues, i'm really glad that i was able to create a comprehensible colored print. i'll be looking for a simple Ukiyo-e design (or part of one) which includes some Japanese script to try next. i'll use larger shina plywood blocks and order some decent paper.

any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated!


File comment: impressions in order from left to right, top to bottom.
IMG_0357.jpg [ 232.1 KiB | Viewed 14873 times ]

Author:  Steve Sisney [ Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: my first color prints

tools and material used....

IMG_0362.jpg [ 236.72 KiB | Viewed 14872 times ]

Author:  David Bull [ Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: my first color prints

Steve Sisney wrote:
hope it was ok to create a new topic.
That's what this forum is for!

not using good enough paper
Yep. It's all about the paper. Please understand that using 'copy' paper or something like that, is basically only for the roughest testing - you don't get good impressions, and it expands and destroys registration. It's basically only useful for getting the block warmed up, and your hands practiced into the proper motion. And it doesn't 'soften' properly when moistened, as washi does. At the level you have moved this print to, it's time to get a few sheets of washi for printing it; the results will be entirely different.

my bokashi technique failed entirely
Hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like you are rubbing the bokashi from dark to light, going by the streaks. You should be rubbing across the gradation area, not 'up' it. Keep pigment at one end of the brush, and only water/paste at the other end. Rub sideways, keeping one area completely clear of pigment ...

my key block had warped
You mentioned switching to shina plywood for next time, and I guess that will minimize this problem. I don't know what kind of wood you have used, but most light 'white' woods do indeed warp like crazy when one face gets wet. I can never understand why so many of my Baren Forum friends swear by using basswood ...

my small marubake brush is cracking
Water is definitely 'poison' for brushes. After washing, shake it out as thoroughly as possible (or use a salad spinner), then let it dry in an airy place out of the sunshine, which would kill it in short order.

i was able to create a comprehensible colored print
Yep. You're already way ahead of where I was at with my first attempt!

Author:  Steve Sisney [ Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: my first color prints

Yep. It's all about the paper.
apparently, the washi i have is not sized (blotted when touched with an ink pen). so, i'll get some Shin-Torinoko from McClain's since Baren Mall currently has none available.

it looks like you are rubbing the bokashi from dark to light
ha - i sure was! and with a small hanga bake. i'll get a wider brush and try again. thanks for that helpful correction.

Water is definitely 'poison' for brushes
ok, i'll also dry it on it's bristles on a paper towel. maybe gravity and wicking could protect the handle better...

You're already way ahead of where I was at with my first attempt!
that's certainly encouraging, but hard to believe!

i'm anxious to try again with good, wet paper and (hopefully) better technique.

thanks so much Bull-san!

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