Media of the Week: Printmaking 5

Masks and Stencils

To start where I left off from yesterday, I intend to do a few variations of this chap, some without using masks and others to demonstrate one use for them. I love this piece by Salvador Dali just as it is but by making separate blocks for each colour for my rendition of it, I have an opportunity to explore different colour combinations though I very much I will prefer any.

I rarely attempt to duplicate anyone’s artwork, in fact I’ve only done it once before and on both occasions it has been in a different media. As I started to draw this piece I knew I wanted to alter a handful of lines slightly but the more I drew the more my respect grew as I began to realise that the tiniest alteration can have a devastating impact on the final piece. I never set out to be accurate but I ended up half wishing I was. Results should prove interesting one way or another. Watch this space.

Mask printing

A quick and easy mask print using just torn up and cut newspaper.

What’s the difference between a mask and a stencil? Not a lot really. A stencil is a specific design to only allow ink to be applied in certain areas whereas a mask can be as simple as a sheet of paper that just covers up half the print area to act as a barrier to protect an area you want to leave untouched.

You might want to try other barriers and resists such as drawing with melted down batik wax, candle wax or beeswax, using masking tape and masking fluid. The aim is to get it off again but sometimes you’ll find you’ll need to adapt when it just won’t do that as often occurs with newspaper.

I did the above this morning and have just finished cleaning up everything to return to my reduction and registration printing. Mask printing like this often leads to happy accidents like newspaper, hairs and other unintentional debris landing where it shouldn’t… Like on you print. Normally you’d take great care to remove these things to keep your print crisp, clean and sharp when doing precision work. However if you like experimenting go with it.

Here for example the newspaper wrapped itself round the roller. Where you peel it off or not inking up again without cleaning the roller will result in different marks being produced. The only thing to really try to steer clear of is anything hard sticking to your roller that might damage it. You can peel off the newspaper and pop it on a fresh piece of paper for a new print.

Remember on Monday I suggested placing a plastic bag on your ink plate before rolling out? The texture from that alone is great for use as backgrounds invoking clouds, water, woods, mountains etc. And again from monoprint don’t firget you can draw with the edge of your roller, scrap ink off either the ink plate or your print for scraffito effects and so on.

Will be adding another page later today when I’ve cut a few more stencils out and done some more printing. Hope you pop back, but you can use all your off cuts from making stencils to make more printing plates or indeed as masks.

Stencil making

Published by SketchSocial

Amateur artist trying to complete my challenge of an artwork for each day of this year. Along the way I'm sharing techniques, favourite artists for anyone interested.

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