Starting printmaking III: intaglio

printing experiment 4

The fun part of this was drawing with a six inch nail.  I simply traced over my earlier field sketch, working into a perspex block.  When printing, I smudged some ink back onto the plate, using elements of monotype to build some shadowing.  If I wanted, perhaps I could tint this with watercolour or ink.

20130621 Guillimots at St Abbs 1

At its simplest, this is perhaps a way or recycling the contents of my notebooks into finished pieces.  If I can be bothered.   More interesting was a drypoint print posted by Nancy Farmer a few days ago.

What interests me is to think about how to create original works in this method not trace my old stuff.  I have stood in the sleet, drawing using fallen snow and watercolour pencils on disintegrating paper.  Actual rain stops play.  I wonder whether I can sketch with a nail onto a hard surface in all weathers.  What would the resulting print look like?  Do other people do this?

10 responses to “Starting printmaking III: intaglio

  1. “I wonder whether I can sketch with a nail onto a hard surface in all weathers” – interesting idea! Would love to see the results if you try it.

  2. Drawing outside on a plate is fine, as long as your surface isn’t water soluble (it could be an interesting experiment!). One artist I know made a body of work by leaving her etching plates on the edge of the beach and let the waves scratch the plates on the sand and pebbles. Always worth having a go with new ideas.

    BTW given the quality of your seabird drawings and the amount of time you’ve spent on observing them (the seabirds that is), my guess is that you could pretty much draw them from your own memories. You can always have your drawing nearby for reference if you have to, but why not let yourself fly free.

    • Thanks. Both interesting ideas. I was thinking of scratching into either metal or Perspex outdoors. Starting Printmaking I and II (monotype and lino cut) both were freehand based on my original sketches of seabirds. As you say, its about thinking more freely. I’ve some bigger drawings of group of birds on cliff sides that I am interesting in developing into prints.

      • I’m going to go back through your post archive to see the printing stuff. That sounds really interesting. I wonder if I can knock up something homemade to have a go. I’ve gone off lino printing, feel the need for something more immediate.

      • The intaglio needed a press as I remember. However the drawing process could be quite immediate even if printing is delayed. Have you seen Rosie’s recent posts on her monotypes?
        Rosie also converted a pasta maker into a press. I had an unused pasta maker – a birthday present. However, before I got round to converting it, my wife had a go and the fresh pasta is delicious. Also, as it comes out the machine she drapes it over long wooden spoons bridging three red wine bottles, which is a glorious sight in itself.
        A long time ago I saw a post how to make a homemade press using compressed air to give it the pressure. Probably still on the internet somewhere.

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