Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Additive and Subtractractive Self Portraits (from photographs)

1.  Print a self portrait that is the same size as your monotype plate.

2.  Make a photocopy of that picture so you have a working copy that you don't mind getting dirty.  Photocopiers are high contrast, so you will have a nice B&W image with very high contrast for comparison.

3.  Roll up a thin layer of ink across your plastic monotype plate.

4.  Start wiping away the highlight areas.  You do not have to be accurate.  You will be able to correct later.  This is just getting you started.

5.  Since you are using the photocopy under the plastic monotype plate, you have the original photograph to use for reference.  You may wipe out all of the portrait area, leaving the original ink tone as just a background color

6.  Apply a different dark ink with a brush to fill in the shadow areas of your portrait.  Do not worry about accuracy.  If you use thin layers, you will be able to see through the layer and clean up later with a more accurate tool (more accurate than a large brush).

7.  Give the highlight area some tone.

8.  Remember, that white paper is acting as white in your art, so anything you remove will be white.  Remove some of that tone from the highlight areas t make sure that you have (what they call in printmaking and photography) "Paper White".

9.  Add details with a small brush.  Remember to apply thin - light coats.  Better to apply a few thin coats than to apply one thick coat.  A thick coat of ink will smudge across your print when the plate is run through the press.

10.  Center the plastic monotype plate on the bed of the etching press.

11.  Place a piece of clean printmkaing paper over the plastic monotype plate.  The back of the paper faces up.  The side that faces down will received the ink, making a print.

12.  Place a piece of barrier paper over the print paper.  This protects your print from any diret on the sizing blanket, and protects the sizing blanket from any excess ink on your plate.

13.  Place the three blankets over the papers and plastic monotype printing plate.

14.  Make sure the etching press is set on the correct pressure. 

15.  Turn the handle, running your printing plate and paper through the etching press.

16.  Once everything is run through the press, carefully pull back the blankets.

17.  Carefully peel back a corner of your new print, and remove it from the plastic monotype print plate.  Place the print on the drying rack while your hands are still clean.  Next, you will remove the print plate and wipe down the press bed for the next person.

18.  Enjoy your print.

and now, for a slightly different method......

1.  Place plastic monotype plate over photo.

2.  Add ink to the light areas.

3.  Add different color ink to the gray areas.

4.  Add dark ink to the dark areas.  Use large and small brushes to make different effects and pick out the details you want.

5.  Use a paper towel or cotton swab to remove ink in the lightest areas.  (white paper acts a white in this process)

6.  Use a small brush to fix the details erased by the previous step.

7.  Use the back of a brush (or stick) to draw fine, sharp lines in the ink.

8.  Run the inked plate through the etching press with a piece of printmaking paper.

(remember, everything is rotated on the horizontal axis in this printmaking process)

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