Friday, March 26, 2010

Mylar and run seven preview

After a couple days trying to learn to use a mat cutter and doing some non print related art, I finally went to the studio to start on run number seven. Before that though I printed the key block onto some mylar to see how much changes I'm gonna need to do, because I changed the treetops and a couple other small things.

I was pretty happy to finally get an idea of what it was going to look like generally.  The textures of the street fence and roofs on the key block were experiments to keep or leave, and I'll probably end up keeping everything except the sreet/parking lot.

For the underlying street texture did some anti-stenciling with some coarse sandpaper and ran it through the press-

The lower picture is sandpaper face down
and on the right is the result lot waiting to get inked up with the stencil surrounding it

I got kicked out of the studio right as I was finishing mixing my colors. I was just there for a proof but I spent too much time on the stencil, should have stuck just with the street and sky without messing with the house roof and woman's purse. Everytime that happens I bring one home because I spent all that time preparing for a proof but don't get one. The positive was that I got the sky mostly right as far as shape - I pretty much killed the first color block for some reason, so even though I used a stencil for the treetops on run six, I carved little outlines because i usually overink things and my stencils are cheap adhesives that get dirty and bend and break easily. Getting better with the over inking, but because of the tree outlines I had to go back to fill them with some fake wood, sand it down and shellack it again. It was hard to see the original image from the key block transfer so getting the stencil right was a little harder than it should have been.

At home I have only one roller and no real space and everything is messy. My cat loves to walk on whatever inks I'm mixing on my paper plates and then leave his footprints wherever he wants. Its hard to stop him because he has a lot of determination. I had a good idea of my blue but not sure of the street color, so I did the wrong thing and rolled the street first, then the sky. I got everything rolled and used the wood spoon I got from a kitchen drawer. The gray was too way too light and spotty no matter what I did with the spoon. After a few feet away you couldn't really tell anything was there, and instead of cleaning the roller I just used cut up paper plates like a palette knife to slide on darker gray and respoon it. The texture was kind of intricate so lifting paper everywhere to re-ink things gave me a lot of filling in with paper moving just a little bit. The lighting here was pretty yellow so the first sky color isn't so blue looking.

Spotty and bad street, but I'm happy because it will be much easier to deal with at the studio with a press and all the ink modifiers.
And finally, with the mylar -

Again yellow lookin but I think its gonna turn out good, I'm going to try to finish this run this weekend, adding some advertising on the windows.


Lynn said...

What a monumental effort! I love reading about your process in spite of the obstacles in your way. So, the stencil is masking tape over relief areas you don't want to print? I wonder if you could use mylar or duralar (my favorite) and cut a stencil with openings in the positive areas? I took a pochoir class and we cut mylar and it was a very fast process. You can glue/tape human hair across where the stencil needs support. I taped the outer edges to make it sturdier.

conor said...

Thanks for your nice comments Lynn. It has been a big effort, for me at least. Aside from the one proof, yesterday was the first time I finished a run in "one" studio session. 11 pm fri-4 am, kicked out by security, some work at home, then back at the studio from 7 am-2 am Sunday. For one freaking run. The stencils - I was using tape but now I'm using this really thin stuff, it's a transparent sticker basically, it comes in rolls around 20" wide and it's lying around the studio for student use. I don't know the product name right now or if that's what it's actually for, but it doesnt work very well. It stretches easily and I have to constantly readjust it when I'm rolling. It picks up lots of dirt and gets ugly pretty quick. I should be using mylar but I never think to get any when I have any extra money, when I get it it's been from friends. Masking the edges though, that sounds like a good trick, I'll try it on my next run. I'm going to have to get some mylar for the detailed areas around the door though, or duralar - I've never heard of it but assume it's mylar made from something stronger? I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tips though, the tape will help and the hair thing might come in handy in the detail area