Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Black and White plus Two

One way that artists work with color is to limit the color. This monotype limits colors to black ink plus two. Colors mix a little on the plate while it is being inked and printed. The white of the paper is part of the color too. Inks that are applied lightly with the brayer show the white of the paper, appearing as a tint of the inked color.
"Bamboo Composition," monotype, approx. 9" x 12" 2016
Yellow is a difficult color to work with in printmaking. Yellow doesn't contrast well against white paper. This print uses a rollup of cadmium yellow, a strong yellow that does contrast. The red is a mixture of process red and black, to reduce the chroma. With black also rolled up on the plate with a brayer, it further mixes. The bamboo leaves and stems were placed on the plate so they act as a mask. The leaves are then flipped and run through the press twice. The pattern is evident in the lighter leaf shapes. The yellow and red work as a background, reading like a table-top with a still life in a vase.

The monotype process yields only one print. Here is how I made this. I inked a plate, in this case a Plexiglas plate, and then ran the plate through an etching press with dampened white paper.

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