Sunday 11 March 2018

Printing a Hippo in 3 Colours

I love printing hippos!
Hippo Collagraph Prints
I've done quite a few hippo collagraph prints over the years, in lots of colours, and these have proved very popular. I wanted to do a slightly different hippo print with three colours printed from the one printing plate. I decided to do a hippo swimming (or floating!) so I could use lots of different blues for the water. Here's one of the photos I used for reference.
Below is the collagraph printing plate before it is has any ink applied. The image is backwards compared to the photo so that when printed it will be the right way round. I use different paints on the cardboard (mountboard) printing plate to get different textures. The yellow is just some cheap acrylic paint with lots of brush marks to create texture! (I use a light colour such as yellow so that I can see it through the inking process to make sure I get ink into every part of the plate.)
I deliberately designed the printing plate to be inked in three different places. The top third to be process blue with lots of extender medium to keep it quite light. The middle to be the hippo in purple ink and the bottom third to be printed in my favourite blue prussian blue. Here's the top part of the printing plate with process blue ink applied in a thin layer avoiding getting any on the hippo head.
 Next I applied the purple ink. I use a scrunched up kitchen cloth to apply the ink (they are cheap and I usually have loads of them) I twisted a corner of the cloth to apply the ink to the smaller places.
Applying the prussian blue to the bottom of the printing plate for the water. I try and be careful to not go over the areas with the other colours and mix the ink too much but I don't mind if a bit of colour runs into another.
Once every part of the printing plate is covered in ink I very carefully blot the plate with newspaper so as not to move the ink around too much and mix the colours.
I carry on wiping with newspaper and tissue paper until there is only a fine layer of ink left on the printing plate. Here's the plate below all wiped and ready to go through the printing press.
  The hippo print hot off my etching printing press!

A whole herd of hippos drying!

Finally, the finished collagraph print!
Hippo Swim Collagraph Print
 Here's the hippo print framed and on exhibition recently at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
A very rare photo of me printing and getting very messy on my dining room table in my very, very inky printing hoody!
Clare xx

1 comment:

  1. Veryinteresting read to see your process and a lovely end result,great hippo.