Sunday, 22 February 2009

Monotypes of Pond reflections

When I came across Wolf Kahn's monotypes I was intrigued to go back to monotypes. I remembered how difficult I found the painting on the plate - remember my complaints back in autumn here?
I have also been meaning to use oil paints as printing medium rather than the oil-based, washable relief inks I've been using so far.

I am preparing for a couple of oil paintings of the two scenes I'm working on, but I am not quite there yet, I feel. But one way of moving towards these was trying to include some of WK's pigments of choice: notably cadmiums. I had bought cadmium reds and yellows very early on when I started oil painting but have never used them so far. There are a couple of powerful pigments I'm fairly familiar with, notably phtalos - no, that' s not right: I use them in acrylics, but have never used them as oil paints (except dioxazine purple), and I have stayed clear of the cadmiums.

But, yesterday was the day: I prepared a palette, including also a pale violet grey, a pale rose, lime green, prussian and ultramarine blue and some umber to soften this in-your-face-pigment-fest.

I had new copper plates I wanted to try and here are my results:

Trees on Water, Monotype 2
Trees on Water, Monotype 2
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,
20x15cm


Trees on Water, Monotype 3
Trees on Water, Monotype 3
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,
20x15cm


I diluted the paint with a mix of turps/stand oil, ended up wetting the paper and with the final, a ghost print, I did quite a lot backdrawing to get most of the ink onto the paper. The mix of paint/medium may need some more experimenting, but I am taken with the marks and the yellows.


I also tried some reductive monotypes: inking up the plate in ultramarine and removing ink to build up the scene - with brushes, painting knives, paper towels, and at points adding more paint (also in black and prussian blue). These are very different, much more abstract and moody. I will try this out more.

Trees on Water, Monotype 4
Trees on Water, Monotype 4
Monotype with oil paints on Tosa Shi paper,
20x15cm

4 comments:

cathsheard said...

Gesa some of those colours are just so lovely. I'm intrigued by some of the colours you mention using, because I can't instantly see where they are, and that made me *really* look. I can't wait to see more of this line of work.

vivien said...

nice work :>)

have you tried using a sheet of acetate as a plate for monoprinting - they work really well

Kelly Marszycki said...

I just found your blog through my interest in Joan Eardley -- love the poem you included with that post. And now I see you writing about Wolf Kahn -- this must be my lucky day!

Monoprinting can be scary, letting the mediums take control, but I hope you continue with your explorations. Come by and visit sometime!

Gesa said...

Hi Kelly, - what a nice surprise too, and I'll be back for more reading at your blog!

As for the monoprinting: I've done quite a lot of different work around this scene - and the little control over the monotypes was really helpful, in particular with the monochrome one.

Vivien - yes, I saw your comment on acetate. No. I haven't so far. But I am VERY intent to try a large format, and just discovered that 40x50cm copper plate costs £20, so I may improvise with two acetates taped together. That'll be the next experiment.

Cath - LOL - there's no pthalos in here, but did you find some of the purple? I was really impressed with the cadmiums - yellow I know reasonably well, but this strength, wow... red's still a funny hue for me, but I'll be doing more with the yellows. As for ultramarine: I haven't used it much recently and the clarity of it when mixed with white is quite stunning after all the greenness of the other blues I've been using. Interesting - and with all the strange pastel sticks I've used, I'm getting rather comfortable with it all.