|Sketchbook pages for contrails|
mixed media ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
Continuing experiments with the contrails and sunsets in my sketchbook toning down colour and trying a small watercolour version led me to thinking about collograph printing. I've only ever done it a few times at college many years ago and assumed that without a press I wouldn't be able to do it again. However some time back on Jeanette Jobson's blog - Illustrated Life she wrote about collograph printing without a press. She inspired me to give it a go.
For those that don't know collograph printing is a form of relief printing where the plate is made of collaged textures. All sorts of different things can be used. I've seen bits of fabric, string, spaghetti, cardboard, corrugated paper, and grit all used with great success. Not having a press at my disposal, I
thought I'd better not use anything with too much texture as I wouldn't be able to apply enough pressure for a successful print by hand.
|The plate all ready to be printed|
To give myself a fighting chance of getting a good print I thought I would use watercolour and watersoluble crayons to 'ink' the plate. I thought by using them and printing onto damp paper I wouldn't need half as much pressure than if I used printing ink which is much stiffer. The crayons I used were a mixture of Caran d'Ache Neocolor II and Derwent Aquatone and they adhered to the plate really well. The watercolour balled up on the surface which I expected but I was hoping when I printed that the pigment would bloom onto the damp paper. Here's the plate all ready to print.
Once the prints were dry I worked back into them with coloured pencil and acrylic ink. I even used some gold acrylic to wash over and pick out some areas. Below is the finished piece. I'm not sure what to call this so if any print makers could let me know I'd be grateful. Is it fair to call it a hand finished collograph or would it be better to call it a mixed media with collograph. I'd like to make a series of these and it would be handy to know.
|Heat Have I - print I/IV|
Hand finished collograph 17x17cm
©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noted that the image is 'back to front' from the original drawing. I thought it would be good to add this to the experiment and see how the change would affect the composition. I think the composition does still work and I also like that not all the contrails have come out. The composition feels much more circular now and much less cluttered. I enjoy the surprises thrown up by changing mediums and processes, I wouldn't have ever gotten a result like this if I had stuck to painting.
It was a fun day experimenting in this way as I was totally unsure of the outcome or even if there would be an outcome. The whole process is magical and full of discovery for me and I will definitely be doing some more.