Friday, July 22, 2011

Reduction print

I’ve got a few pans in the fire.

One: I’ve agreed to make a print for the Inkteraction print exchange with the theme “Navigating Currents: 100 Inkteraction Reactions” due at the end of September. Two: I’ve also been asked by Carlos Barberena and Calaca Press to contribute a print to the “Calacas” themed International Print Exchange. Three: I have a few possible commissions I need to think about.

I’ve decided to try my hand at a reduction relief print for at least one of these portfolio exchanges. I haven’t attempted a reduction print since I was 15 years old and made a 4 color print of Freddie Mercury for my high school art class.

A reduction print is a multi-colored print that is created using one block. Each color is printed in sequentially, usually light to dark. You can start by printing the whole block as a base tone for the print or remove some of the block before inking thereby leaving some of the paper exposed as a base or highlight. Before the second run of color more of the block is removed ("reducing" the block)which leaves some of the first color printed (and paper) exposed wherever the block has now been cut away. This process is repeated until the final color state, sometimes a black but not necessarily so, is printed. The block is destroyed in the process, therefore it is not possible to go back a step and re-do a state. Obviously a little pre-planning and a good registration system is in order for a successful print.

The idea for the Calaca theme came quickly – a variation of something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. First I drew a color sketch then I transferred the image to a block. Next I decided what areas were going to be left white (the color of my paper) and cut those areas away. Next I printed the yellow base color… Then I realized I had used the wrong size paper to print this edition….!!!! (to be continued)

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