Whilst it's been cold and grey I've been working on my river project and I just thought you might be interested in seeing some experiments I've been doing with mono printing. Something I feel has been lacking in my work of late is the element of mark making and textures. It is the 'thing' that has attracted me most to the river. Juxtapositions of organic reflection shapes with the lines of reeds and all the very different textures of foliage are so different to the sea/beach/cloudscapes that I've done. - A change of scene can be very exciting...
I used a plate of perspex and drew onto it with watersoluble crayons, I used Neocolor II made by caran d'ache as well Derwent Aquatone. They are softer than some of the other brands and sit well on the plastic. Some colours will go on easier that others depending on the pigment but most will be fine with a little pressure. For the first experiment I wanted to concentrate on the vertical reeds and and the horizontals made by the ripples on the water.
The next step was to dampen the paper, it needs to be damp enough to activate the pigments but not so damp that the water pools and runs turning the print into a blended slush of colour. Once the paper was damp it could be laid out on top of the drawing. I added a hinge of masking tape at the top at this stage fixing the paper onto the perspex in case I wanted to work back into the plate. I applied quite a bit of pressure to the back of the paper.
Now for the exciting bit, I carefully peeled away the paper from the plate. The water looked a little too pale for my liking and there were a couple of bands in the reeds that didn't print so well. Because of my trusty masking tape hinge this was easily rectified by working back into the plate with more crayon and very gently laying some extra water with a brush onto the plate to dampen the areas of reed that didn't take.
This is the final result. There are blots of pigment where it has balled up on the perspex plate and printed in clumps. Whilst this can be a bit of a pain with some subjects I quite like it in this one. Also the reeds were supposed to be looking like they start from the bottom of the paper and the way it has printed almost makes it look like they start from about a third of the way up and underneath is a poorly drawn reflection. However I think this is a good starting point for working back into with different media. It was also quite a fun technique to use as it's element of unpredictability means you can never be sure exactly what results you will get.