Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Garden of Delight—gelatin and polystyrene plate monoprint

Something fun, that actually took quite a long time.
I will try to tease out the steps, but it’s not a ‘how to’ explanation by a long shot.
1. Make a gelatin plate (google gelatin printmaking if you need help with this step, lots of info there)
2.  Go wild with ink, heaps of paper, and apply colours and random textures onto gelatin, repeat process endlessly until something promising appears.  Set these aside for a day, a month, or a year.
3. Make impressions on foam plates.  For the words, I used ball-point pen to flatten the negative spaces. The blue circle is the usual method, where you use the ball-point pen to inscribe the image.  It took me numberous tries, and foam plates to get the words to fit, as I wanted it to look very hand-written, and so didn’t try any typography tricks to measure things out.
4.  Cut a circle template. Cut a circle that matches your foam plate out of an a4 piece of paper, tape the paper over your half-way completed gelatin print. This protects your background print.
5. Paint the circle in acrylic paint (violet in this case).
6. Keep the template in place, as now you can use it to register your foam plate for multiple overprints. I use four marks and compass directions because I like compasses.  (if you click on the image, you might see my pen marks on the plate)
7. Ink the foam plate and press your background colour (dark green),  Let dry. Then paint in details onto the foam and press. Let dry, and repeat until you’re satisfied. I use thick ink for this stage, and it takes more than a day to dry. So I work on other things and try to cultivate patience. I’ve been working on this one for weeks.
8. Once the centre is done, you’ll probably find you need to add something to integrate the background. In this case, I decide to add text to support the theme. While it is a fun image, I was really thinking about how everything eats something, and the implications of that. We are all edible, another metaphor for mortality. Okay, or it’s just fun to play with words, whatever.
That’s it.
I place at high res image on FineArtAmerica, in case you want to have fun looking at details, or see the image sans watermarks.
Also available at Etsy.


Jenny B. said...

I don't know anything about printmaking, but it looks like something of a miracle when those different semitransparent layers merge into a harmonious whole. Very nice!

Jennifer Rose said...

how did i miss this?!? a tut from you, yay! :) very great to see

found some Styrofoam meat package with tonight's sausages :p its not very big but i still want to try a print with it :)

Chrissy said...

That is so very pretty. Amazing how it all comes together like that :)

kaslkaos said...

Chrissy & Jenny, thanks! and I always think it's amazing too 'when'/if! things work out to make a harmonious whole. Gelatin printmaking always feels like a bit of a crap shoot. Luckilly, materials are relatively cheap, but I still get excited when I pull something off.
Jennifer, hooray! A meat tray! Have fun with it, and you can always dumpster dive for more...


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