Monday, February 7, 2011

D is for Done with Dominos

I've been quiet lately because I've been PRINTING. and printing and printing.
Six blocks.
I stopped counting at 17 impressions and 10-ish colors.

As I mentioned in the last post the first color was going to set the mood and would be very important. Unfortunately it ended up looking like a warm yellow in the tube but printed thinly it proved a very cool yellow; the second pass helped a bit but three layers was too strong a yellow and so I was left with this cool yellow that I had to battle all the rest of the print.

The next layer was a thin, phthalo blue--hoping to give me a decent green so I could then overprint with a quinacradine red. But it wasn't as easy as all that; the first blue over the too-cool/too-strong yellow came out way too green and I spent a whole day fighting back that turquoise/green shade--actually it was quite lovely--just wrong--with repeated overprintings of complementary colors to neutralize and warm it down.But Adjusting the various doses of pigment I was able to get either a greenish brown, a mauveish brown, or a blue-green. Next went a blue-black--a bit of indathrone blue and carbon black pigment dispersions and I got a nice dark domino.

Once I got the Domino done I turned to the Shadow. I started with a Rose Madder Genuine/Quinacridine rose--this over the yellow ground gave me a very orange-y pink.
Over this went a Bokashi (graded wash of dark purple of phthalo blue and alazarin c.) Then another Bokashi of strong phthalo blue to heighten the edge.
I did about 10 in this color scheme then had a late night fit of panic and clouded judgement and cleaned off the board and switched to a clear blue--to get a nice vibrant green shadow; and then that was graded down with a phthalo blue bokashi edge too.

So, its a true Edition Varie--each domino is a bit different--some are green, blue, purple, brown or mauve; a few have hot purple shadows, most a green; and there are few outliers--pinks and reds and bright yellow golds.

I am reminded however, that my assignment was to try to achieve a rich, dark BLACK.
I had a Robert-Motherwell-kind-of-black in mind that I definitely did not achieve.
I sort of skirted that goal in favor of a rich, multicolored dark but it was a long,
bumpy session and very haphazard and disorganized and while some of the dominos are really gorgeous, I couldn't repeat the process if my life depended on it.
But if you look at the BACK of the paper you can get a pretty good idea of what I was up to.


  1. Phew.....they do look gorgeous. Are rabbits next?

  2. Yes, Rabbits are next.
    I was in Ugly Mug today working on the final sketch. I have about 4 or 5 that I like but I think it's the "metal" thing that will point me in the direction I'll go in.

  3. I really like the richness of the domino colors you've shown here. I find multiple overprintings very tricky, but sometimes it's the only way to get the results you want. You used the word "panic" in your post, which i totally relate to. I often feel panic while printing -- it's such a fast-paced and unpredictable process. What size are these?

  4. These are 6 1/4" X 12 2/3".
    The photo is a bit out of focus and I'll try to post a better image.
    The red birch had a faint vertical grain that really gave an "antique wood" look to the surface.
    I finally switched to my ball-bearing baren as I was getting too smooth impressions with the Murasaki.

  5. I can't wait to get one! i like them all.

  6. I'm with Viza! Can't wait for mine, obviously, since I couldn't wait to read about it. The subject matter of your prints is always refreshing.

  7. Join me in the "I couldn't wait" group. The amount of layering overwhelms me. I can't wait to see the rich details in person. Thank you for sharing your process!

  8. I had to look too, and looking forward to seeing what variant I receive. Beautiful print.