Sit like an Egyptian

Back to design. This time I decided to use a smaller shape- A5- to see if I could control the alignment of the two masks. I chose an Egyptian seated profile figure- actually not Egyptian, but taken from another Gauguin. I wanted to improve the alignment and the depth of colour. The positive mask had a straight line at the bottom of the printed area, which I thought would be easier to align. Chose pink and dark blue, and decided to be ambitious and try reversed side-by-side prints. The first efforts were still unaligned, and the edges were unclear.

Egyptian 1

The next attempt – on the left- had speckled blue.

Egyptians 2

At about this stage I started to wonder if I could leave my inks out for longer- I had been washing them off after each session, and realised I was washing a lot down the sink and I hadn’t yet found another source of them. This was when I decided to search the internet, and found a couple of helpful blogs. One thing I learned was that I could leave the inks on the plate for a couple of days. The second was a hint about placing the second mask on the printed paper to ensure alignment. This worked! The blue (on the image on the right, above)  is still spotty, and there is still a big white gap around but the gap is better placed.

Tried once more, and found the ink seemed to be better from having sat on the plate for a day- got a richer colour.

This is the next attempt, above. The one on the left was done first, and the second shows better alignment using the same technique as before, except instead of using sticky tape, I printed while the first stage was still sticky, and used the stickiness of the ink to attach the mask. I also pressed much much harder on the paper. I placed the sketch of the image over the back of the printing paper and pressed especially hard on the edges to try to create clear lines. There’s some mess at the edges but I think this is good as I can get this right now, with the depth of colours pretty even across all four.

 I like the superimposed pink and blue ghost third prints too.

Ghost print Egyptians




I also realised that I wasn’t working very smart, waiting for things to dry, and realised I should multi-task, and have more than one thing going at a time. While waiting for the above to dry, experimented with some textures. This a very new way of working for me: I’m used to sitting down to a single painting for a long time.


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