Saturday, June 14, 2014


The first monotypes that I created in Helper all those years ago were done with tube oil paint on plexiglass plates. Phyllis and I used OPEN acrylic paints last week, and although I learned to handle them well and to produce good prints (in the technical sense), I am eager to return to oils. The plasticity of the acrylic medium provides a brilliance of color but also a hard quality to the texture of the paint that I don't like as much as the softness of oils. The image at left is a 6"x6" print using tube oils, the first "keeper" I've run on the press here at home.

I remember that the second time we did monotypes in Helper, we used oil-based inks rather than tube paints. Since the information I've found about printmaking always refers to printing inks, I decided that I had better check them out.

I have long preferred Gamblin oil paints, and the company also makes inks, so I ordered a basic set of primary colors in their "relief" ink, which they say is appropriate for monotypes (in contrast to their "etching" ink; if I sound like I don't know exactly what is what, that's because I don't!).

At the same time, I have read about Akua inks, which are non-toxic, made with soy oil, and can be cleaned up with soap and water as opposed to the mineral spirits or turpentine required for traditional oils. I've heard good things about them from other artists, and the environmentally safe quality appeals, so I also ordered their starter set of primary colors.

So, I'll have two different ink mediums to try, when I have never used any, but I am looking forward to familiarizing myself with them both, and to contrasting ink with my tube oils.

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