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.