Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Reduction printing

 Shallow Water

I have never done a reduction print.  I've done lots of lino prints, but nothing that takes a lot of left brain thinking like a reduction print.  I decided to tackle one - a very small one - and see I could create.  I had a 3" x 4" lino block and used Rosaspina paper torn to about 7" x 10" and Akua Liquid Pigment to print.  Reduction prints are also called suicide prints.  Pretty much sums up what I was considering after the first couple of steps!

Reduction printing involves cutting away areas of lino, printing a colour, then cutting away more, printing, cutting...until you have reached saturation point and have little printing surface left.  The final lino is no more than a skeleton of the print and has no further use.   Of course a registration jig is required as well to ensure effective lining up of colours and I did try that.

Original tri-colour print

Being me, I was in a hurry and didn't take quite enough time to make either the jig or the paper guide completely square so after applying the second print colour it made me think I was drinking.  What to do?  There was no point trying to adjust the registration jig so I thought I'd do them by hand and hope that the printmaking gods would be on my side.  I put on the final dark colour in the hopes it would pull it together a bit and it did to a degree, but I think I wasn't generous enough with the initial ink loads and the result was a bit patchy.

What to do with nine prints?  Add colour!   I used a variety of mediums from watercolour to coloured pencil to transparent marker to add layers of colour to the prints.  And this is the result.

What did I learn from the exercise?  Planning is everything.  Patience is everything.  Luck comes into as well as troubleshooting.  I will try another reduction print when I have time and I enjoy the process of printmaking.  And the good thing?  I found the etched plate I was looking for after I last cleared up the studio!


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

glad you found the plate you had been looking for :)

i have a love hate relationship with reduction printing, love the look, hate how fiddly everything can be :/

at least you were able to save the prints by colouring them :)

Jeanette Jobson said...

Well, I made do with what I had and cheated a bit with colour. Better luck next time..

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

wouldn't say it was cheating, just being resourceful :)

Ann said...

They look great to me! And what a good idea to add color with other media, now they are all unique!. You would probably laugh at the process I would use to do reduction printing. I used pine blocks. I would lay my paper down on a table, ink the block, and place it face down on the paper. Then I would carefully slide the paper and block together over the edge of the table until I could grab it and flip it over. Then I would burnish with a wooden spoon. With each new color it was a matter of holding my breath (and giving thanks to the printmaking gods) when I placed the inked block onto the paper. I usually had about a 50% success rate when all done. :-)

Jeanette Jobson said...

Ann, I often add colour to etchings so thought why not the relief prints. And it reduces the slightly blurry effect too.

Ah the antics we go through for art! Your method sounds a bit like mine at the end. I will really think out a reduction print and get it right, jig and all one of these days. :)

Sue Pownall said...

Oh my that sounds like hard work. The results are great.