Monday, June 1, 2009


Well, I had to try the printmaking like Myrna talked about and tried on her blog. Using a small square of plexi, I drew on it with the Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons. I didn't have a great selection of colors but did my best and kept it simple. I sharpened the crayons and kept the shavings (thoughts or using them for later were already in my head). I got out my 3" brayer and drew this little painting of bleeding hearts on the plexi (yep, still on the heart theme, wonder why??)

The first transfer I did, the hotpress watercolor paper I used for the print was too dry. I soaked it for a minute and blotted it off right away and I should have soaked it longer and left it more wet.

The second transfer on hotpress paper, I soaked it for longer than a minute and left it damp and then pressed it onto the painting and brayered it harder and longer than the first time. It was too wet. (It must take a lot of practice to know when the conditions are just right to get a good print.)

And what was left on the plexi was so pale by now that there couldn't be another print tried with this painting so I was thinking of what else to do and came up with something that really turned out horrid - so you don't get to see that.

So I wiped the plexi clean again and tried something very very simple with color - remember those crayon shavings? Yep, used them, putting them on in a scrunching manner with a tough bristle brush, not a soft watercolor brush. It was fun and I thought it might turn out to be something cool.

This is what the painting on the plexi looked like.

And this is the print transferred onto a hard piece of All Media Artboard from Cheap Joe's.

I like this one - it's very simplistic but sometimes that's good. I did go in and put the green border around it with regular watercolor using a soft watercolor brush. I like the dots - very pointillistic and free and I think I'll do this again this way - more crayon shavings coming up!
I also want to try printmaking the way Chris Beck described it, using dishwashing liquid on the brush to get the watercolor to stick to the plexi and then transferring the painting to masa paper. Stay tuned! This is fun. If you can find a piece of plexi or glass (tape the edges for safety), try it. You can use a brayer or a rolling pin to transfer the painting to the paper.


Chris Beck said...

Fun!! Just sent you a note about this, but you're way ahead of me!! I really like the effects on the one you did with the shavings.

RHCarpenter said...

Who knew you could make something pretty and interesting out of shavings? I like this one, too - definitely the best of the lot and I think it's because it's just more large shapes than anything specific. Thanks, Chris, I'll definitely try your way, too, and I have masa paper to transfer the print onto.

Joyfulartist said...

I've tried the plexi-prints using really thick watercolor. If the watercolor on the plexi is still wet you don't need to wet the paper. If it's dry you do need to dampen the paper. You are right, it takes some practice to figure out how to get a good image. I did enjoy the process even if I didn't get stellar results.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks for that tip, Joyful :) I hope to learn more as I play more and hear from others who've been through the learning process.