We will be carving out a rubber block for our second printmaking project. The basic steps are the same: create a block, roll on ink, and print it on paper. There are also some variations on this second process.
The inspiration for this project will be a fairytale or children's story. Begin by finding the story you want to use as the inspiration for your design. You will create a design that illustrates something that happened in the story.
As you begin, remember you can not copy another artist's work but you can create your own in a similar style. DON'T COPY ANY DISNEY CHARACTERS OR WORK FROM OTHER ARTISTS.
If you choose to include a person in your design, please spend some time practicing your final drawing. Note how other artist simplify people when designing a character. Since we are creating a print, you will not be able to use a complex drawing. You may choose not to include people at all in your design. For example, if you are illustrating a story with a princess, you could draw her crown or the castle where she lives.
As with the first print, you will need to include a lot of patterns and line work. Think of things you can include in your background and ways to add texture. About 50% to 75% of the block should be carved out in some way. This will also include creating small textural marks. Carving too little or too much will create a poor design.
Brainstorming Ideas Start with an idea and find a story or find a story to discover your design idea. Make a list of 5 good ideas. Consider the background as well as the main focal point. The blocks are not large measuring 4"x 6". Keep that in mind as you begin to think of ideas
Visual Development Begin by creating 2 or 3 planning sketches. You may want to trace the printing block so that you can draw the design to scale. Do not use words for this project. Take a photo of your sketches and turn it into Schoology.
A common mistake in printmaking is not carving out enough of the printing block (See photo 1 for an example of a block that has not been carved enough). One way to create a successful print is to start with a simple outline and add marks inside to balance darks and lights (See photo 2 and 3 below).
PHOTO 1-Too Little Carving/Texture PHOTO 2-Simple Shapes filled with Line PHOTO 3-Outline of simple shapes
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF TOO LITTLE CARVING.
EXAMPLE OF FILLING SPACE WITH LINE WORK
OUTLINE OF BASIC SHAPE BEFORE IT IS FILLED WITH LINE
Here are some examples of different lines and textures that can be used in printmaking.
Next, create your rough draft. This will be transferred to the printing block using an ebony pencil. Remember, the image will be reversed. If you don't want the image reversed, use the light box to retrace your lines on the back of the paper. Place the rough draft backside up when you transfer it to the printing block. After your design is complete, use a sharpie marker to color in all of the positive space (areas that will not be cut out). Study the balance of dark and light. If you have too much of either, your design will not look good. It is a good idea to make a print before completing all of your cuts so that you can decide how much more material needs to be removed without over doing it. Take a photo of your rough draft and turn it in to Schoology.
Final Design Carving the Printing Block 1. Transfer your design to the printing block by coloring the back of your rough draft with an Ebony Pencil. Place the rough draft on top of the block and retrace your line. Next, color in all the areas that will not be carved out with a Sharpie marker.
2. Using the carving tools or an X-acto knife, begin carving away the material you don't want to print. There are several different sizes of carving tips. Choose the size that matches how much you want to remove. For example, use a small tip for fine detail or small areas.
Remember to leave texture by not fully carving out some areas. Although some shallow cuts may show up when you print, plan to leave pieces of the surface as needed for texture. You only need to carve down about 1/8".
3. Start with a partial cut and create a practice print before completing all of your final cuts. This will allow you to see what needs to be removed more clearly. You can always carve more sections as needed. ONCE THE MATERIAL IS REMOVED YOU CAN NOT REPLACE IT. Be careful about removing too much.
4. Finalize your design by completing all of your cuts. Be sure and check to see that you have about an equal amount of carved and non-carved areas. If any area stands out as too large and plain, decide how you can add some texture to break up the space.
5. Print a final draft of your completed design to check for any other needed changes. Once this is complete, you are ready to move on to your final prints.
Printing Options Here are several ways you can finish your print. You may try several variations and choose the best result to turn in as your final photo.
Colored Ink 1. For this print you may use colored ink. We have red, green, yellow, blue, white, and black. Colors can be mixed to create new colors. For example, white and red will make pink. You can create a mixed color or you can drop colors side by side to fade one color to another (see photo below)
This color fade is created by dropping a small amount of different colored inks near each other and rolling the brayer over top. Move the brayer back and forth slightly as you roll to create a blend where each color meets. Roll the blended colors on to your printing block.
Paper Choices 1. Colored construction paper may be used to add an additional color to your print. PLEASE USE THE SCRAP PAPER ON THE BOTTOM SHELF OF THE TURN IN RACK. If the color is not available, please see me and I will cut you a piece. Never take a full sheet of construction paper from storage. Our final print is small. By using scrap pieces, we can conserve the larger sheets for projects that require a full sheet.
2. Old book pages or newspaper can be used to create a unique look. See me for old book pages. Newspaper can be found under the 2nd sink.
3. A painted background can be created using acrylic or water color paint. You may place colors in the approximate area they would be needed for your design. For example, you could paint a yellow blob in an area where a flower will be printed. Colors don't need to align perfectly.
4. Pre-printed paper will add complexity to your design. See me for options or bring something you have at home. Options include scrapbook paper, old wrapping paper, or wall paper.
5. Roll out an ink fade on paper and allow it to dry before printing. This will add color to your background so that the ink texture matches the print texture.
Advanced Techniques 1. Hand painted areas can be created to enhance your final design. Painted areas should be limited since you will need to paint within the printed area. An example can be seen in the slide show above where the printed cat has a green painted iris.
2. Tw0 Color Printing is created by cutting out a shape that will be printed with a different stamp. Your original design will be used so it must be created leaving a little space around the item to be removed. You will use a 2nd stamp print from my recycled block prints. PLEASE DON'T USE A NEW BLOCK SINCE THERE IS ONLY ENOUGH FOR EACH STUDENT TO HAVE ONE. The entire design will be transferred to the printing block. The back ground will be carved out as usual, but the 2nd color image will be completely carved out. The 2nd color image only will be transferred to the the recycled block and carved out. The extra pieces around the image will also be removed with an X-acto knife. The background is printed first and allowed to dry. The 2nd color image will be placed and printed in the area that was removed to create the 2nd color. See the photo below for an example.
Refinement All refinement for this project should be done prior to your final printmaking piece. If your project is messy or needs more cutting, redo what you need and reprint.
Reflection Take a photo of your finished piece, download & fill out the rubric, and turn both of them in to Schoology.