365 art challenge #18, 19, 20

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Monotypes no. 18, 19, 20 and ghosts with relief printing, hung up to dry.  It seems simple enough to roll ink onto a relief block, but learning exactly how much ink should be applied takes a lot of trial and error.  Once the block is inked, is it better to hand-transfer the ink to paper by rubbing, or by running it through a press?  The challenge of printing by hand is getting the ink to print evenly; the only way to know if the print is successful is by moving the paper away from the block, and replacing the paper without letting it shift is easier said than done.  Using a printing press can solve the problem of uneven ink transference, but I am plagued by the migration of ink outside the desired printing area.

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The above print is the best of today’s batch.  The relief ink appears to be fairly consistent in coverage, and while there are a few spots of unwanted ink near the lettering, the ink hasn’t squashed outside the lines like it often does when printed with a press.  To print the watercolor monotype, the paper must be soaked or dampened first.  Japanese printmaking papers like this green Kitakata will wrinkle when printed damp, which makes them difficult to use for monotype.  After the relief ink dries, I’ll cut the printed area out and see if I can paste it to a sheet of thicker western paper.

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