Saturday, November 19, 2011


I printed a few more proofs/test prints of my little, One-Way arrow sign.
I printed several copies on Shin Torinoko--a machine-made Japanese pulp and linen paper and about 7-8 on Nishinouchi. The latter is a tan, strong mulberry paper but it tends to vary in thickness across the sheet as well as in sizing--it turns out--and I had trouble again in getting it to print evenly and to not have some paper fibers pull up; if I pressed firmly enough to get a good even impression it seemed to want to pull up the paper fibers more often.

I printed the white arrow first using Zinc white and some rice paste and I did 2-3 impressions to get the white to look opaque and dense enough.
Then I printed the blue block. Again it seemed to require many reprints to get it even halfway dark. I started with Ultramarine pigment dispersion and a bit of paste and gum arabic and eventually after 2-4 impressions added a touch of pthalo blue to get it dark/covering enough. The wood grain is still pretty visible (which is fine) but I still think the blue should have been deeper; and the paper would have been happier with a few fewer impressions.

Next I printed the white block again, but this time with a mixture of zinc white and gum arabic and pressed very lightly with the baren to transfer this to the arrow shape. Then I lightly dusted brushed on some "mother-of-pearl" mica powder using a very soft, squirrel-hair mop brush. Then I brushed off the excess with another brush.
This mica turned out much too silver in color so I had to go back and print a light coating of white thinned with paste again to beat it back a bit so I lost much of the sheen I was after but I didn't want it to look like a silver arrow.

I think it looks pretty good if the lighting is right.
As a test print it has definitely been worthwhile.
I'm going to try a few copies on good, well-sized paper and see if I can have another go at printing--hope I can find some plain or white/uncolored mica.

1 comment:

  1. I used Nishinouchi (from McClain's) for my entire Pilgrim series and I found that, relative to Echizen Kozo which had been my favorite paper to that point, the Nishinouchi made the colors much duller. That was fine with me for the Pilgrim series -- gave the prints an aged feel -- but I found it frustrating at first. I also found that the color lightened considerably as the paper dried, so I learned to print darker than the color in my head. Didn't have the sticking problem, though, so I'm not sure what would cause that. Paste too thick? Not sure... Anyway, I like the mica effect very much.