Lo Shu and maniere noire lithography

Hæ allir saman!

Now it has been three months already since me and Mandy (check out her blog here) started our fellowship in Leicester and it has gone by so quickly! I have really enjoyed this time but it still feels a bit weird being focused on and so dedicated to something so specific since I’m usually all over the place when it comes to my art work. But it has been fun and I am excited to continue on for the next two years.

A couple of weeks ago I made an experimental stone with Serena using some Lo Shu and maniere noire techniques which both basically mean that you are drawing on the stone with a negative method. With the Lo Shu method you draw on the stone using inks or crayons containing gum arabic instead of grease, the materials used have to be wet or damped and then you wait for them do dry. Once they are dry you rub and roll on some non drying ink and the ink will stick onto the stone but not unto the gum based drawing. Maniere noire on the other hand is kind of like drypoint as you start with covering your stone with ink and then scratch and etch into it to make some marks. Let’s take a look at how this went down!

L1010607 copy

On the left you can see the maniere noire which I have scratched and etched. On the right is then a gum based drawing, note the very faint marks on the far right that look like watermarks. They are solutions of water and gum mixed in different strengths, from 3 to 8 drops of gum in 30 ml water. After this had settled we covered they Lo Shu area with Asphaltum, very nasty.


I had put gum on the etches and over the maniere noire so the asphaltum wouldn’t get everywhere and then Serena rubbed it in and rolled over with non drying ink. With our damping cloth and nap roller we rolled away the excess ink and gradually the image appeared. We etched the whole thing with an Atzol etch and this is what we got:

L1010693 copy

Next step was printing and after a few proofs this was the result:


Well some things turned out better than others but over all I was very pleased. This were printed using the noir a monter and the nap roller.

L1010739 copy

I really like these gum/water marks. They just make random patterns and the more gum you have in them the whiter they get.

But we didn’t stop there but continued printing with some crayon black ink and a regular roller. To put it mildly, it turned out horribly!


Most things almost completely filled in and I was left with big black mess. But of course, very educational!

Hope you have enjoyed this technical experiment, I am off to Iceland now for a little holiday so I will be taking a break from my blog for a few weeks. Have a great summer!

Sjáumst á skerinu!

NB! Read about more of my maniere noire here!


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