All about the ink!

Hello again! Now I have just finished my third week of Lithography in Leicester and we have been very busy learning and experimenting with different inks, doing some photo litho, grinding stones and working with liquid inks. These have been quite busy and productive days I must say! So let’s take a better look at the different types of inks we used. In the first week we printed the stone with a mix of Crayon Black, which is a very stiff ink that suits crayon drawings very well, we mixed a little bit of Noir A Monter, which is a much softer ink, in with the crayon black to get it a bit easier to work with. So to mix things up for the second prints we printed our stone in a brilliant red and mixed all sorts of softeners to see how the image would print differently.

The red etching ink and to the left are the different materials used for softening and stiffening the ink up.

Stone inked up with red ink.

Red stone ready to print! And here is how the prints turned out: L1010395

L1010393 copy
Printed with ink diluted with Intaglio extender base.

Some details were already much clearer than before as the softer ink was more suitable for very fine lines and details that were not very visible with the crayon black. On the other hand very dark areas got a bit smudged as the ink was a bit too soft for those parts of the drawing. In the process of printing we kept making the ink a little bit softer for each print so we got a variety of outcomes, the softest one in the end was definitely a step too far. We also tried printing only with the Noir a Monter, the softer ink we used to mix in with the crayon black in the first prints. I really liked the Noir a Monter ink as it is not completely black and is so soft and nice, and gave a lot of details both in the lighter and darker bits.

L1010409 copy
Printed with Noir a Monter using the nap roller.

The ink studies were quite technical but still it was interesting to see how the prints changed from with each adjustment of the ink. Well, this is it for now and I hope it wasn’t too dry and boring. I will be starting to do some more independent and more personal stuff soon, so that should be fun. Thanks for reading!


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