Angel Prints

Process & Making

Angel Prints - DeliveranceWhist the monotype printmaking method is the least complicated means of creating prints, with the exception of potato printing or the linked up thumbprint. In some respects, it most closely resembles painting and it is the directness as an artist, a spontaneity  and potential for the happy accident ( I am always having happy accidents falling bumping into things), which is what is important for the creative process that attracts me. A mono print can be defined as a unique a print made by drawing or painting with printing inks directly onto a printing plate or glass.  Usually only a single print is produced, which makes each work truly unique.

I use transparent and very thin inks so that they will over print. Colours can be built up quickly if they are glaze thin. So yellow and blue can make a green etc.  The resulting colours will depend  on the colour and type of ink. Multi-printed monoprints are allowed  to dry between some of the layers. I control my colour monoprint with successive layers of black to give different tones. Paper used is absorbent rather than a hard, shiny surface.

Angel Prints - Revelation (Blue)First you need to prepare a copper plate.  I first drypoint onto the plate. It is one of the most immediate ways of making a etching.  Traditionally it was simply scratching on a copper plate which is soft. The burr from the process would enrich the first prints made and the edition would be limited.  Rembrandt used dry point to achieve the richness of fur and velvet in his etchings.  His very mature work used dry point increasingly.

Another technique that I use on my angel etchings is Aqua tint.  The term aqua tint may appear to be a misnomer, as water isn’t used in any part of the process.  The name comes from the way the aquatint was developed to initiate the water colour technique of making different tints. It is rosin that is powdered onto the plate and then warmed to melt it onto the surface.  The rosin is acid resistant. Basically the areas to be tinted is isolated using sop-out varnish and the plate is immersed in the acid. In my work it gives my angels a tonal process which can produce effects similar to a watercolour wash.  Like etching, the technique relies on the use of acid, which eats into the metal of the plate.

One of the decisions I have made in my process of printmaking is to ink up a whole copper plate and remove the ink and make my marks.  I find myself experimenting with many different tools to create my image.  I generally work with at least 300gsm Somerset paper for printing which I have to soak for at least 30 mins in a large bath before printing.

There is a link to CRW Nevinson (1889 – 1946) he often used dry point and it is interesting to see the varieties of lines that he achieved.

History & Inspiration

Why make angel monoprints when I can paint them? The element of surprise and build up of colour gives a richness. You can get 2 prints from one plate.  This is called a ghost print where you can re-work the image and develop it. Usually one impression is made.  They may give the impression of having been done with great speed and ease, but their spontaneity is an illusion. These prints involve an immense amount of work from their various tones, from the palest grey to black

Perhaps it was a shared love of the surprise of printmaking and the intense pleasure it brings that Picasso was the most prolific and inventive printmaker of the twentieth century; besides his books he made over 2,000 prints, etchings and aquatints.

Whilst many of the original skills of printmaking are being abandoned by the new generation of printmakers, due to the relentlessness march of technology the most important aspect of any artwork is authenticity.  Whilst my preference is for making prints with copper and zinc plates I also have print giclee prints but ensure that all prints have a signed ‘certificate of authenticity’ stating the edition and number thus ensuring a connection between the collector and my original intentions.

Elizabeth Rollins-Scott Angel Prints

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