Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February More from my Print Class

Above is my pen and ink sketch for my first etching print. Size is 5 inches X 7 inches a standard size for printing plates. Today in class we prepped our plates with what they call a hard ground. I used the old fashion solid type that you use a hot plate to heat the plate, then melt some of the ground on it by rubbing the ball of ground over the plate and smooth it out with a roller. Once the ground has been spread evenly over the surface of the plate the plate is taken off of the hot plate and allowed to cool. Most of the students used a liquid hard ground, and the preferred ground was one that was brushed on the plate surface. Once my plate had cooled, I transferred my drawing to the plate using tracing paper and my white chalk transfer sheet. I spent most of the rest of the class re-drawing my tree in the ground on the plate with one of my double pointed etching tools.  I did get my plate into the acid bath for a couple of sessions but don't think it is quite ready to be printed - in other words I still didn't get enough bite on the plate - or the grooves aren't yet deep enough to really hold ink. Next class I should be able to finish at least the first round and do a proofing print. I will probably need to add more lines so I will probably reapply the ground and do some more drawing which will mean back into the acid bath.

I did manage to make 2 more prints of my bug today, but I still need to do at least two more of it to have 4 good prints, only one of the 2 I did today was very good. I really need to remember to use the small press, I get much better results on it.

In Graphic Design I have to have my brochure design in computer format for tomorrow's class. I did most of the work on that over the weekend as I knew I would be exhausted after today's printing class but I need to do a bit more work on it this evening. So far so good with that one. For photography I have spent a couple of sessions in parks getting used to my new camera. I decided that my old Canon wasn't going to be good enough so I splurged and purchased a Canon EOS Rebel XSI. More camera then I have been used to, and I think it is going to take a few more sessions for me to become familiar with the manual settings that I can use on this camera. Thank heavens it has a completely auto mode, but I think once I get used to them the manual modes will be useful.

One last image for you today, this is the photo I used for the pen and ink tree drawing above. I took it last spring in one of the Mass Audubon sites, it wasn't exactly winter when I took this picture, but it was early march and there wasn't a lot leafing out at that point background green is mainly pine trees, though I am not sure that you can tell that from this image.

As usual comments are welcome.