Sunday, July 25, 2010

Image Deveopment, Platemaking & Proofing

Have you ever had an idea rolling around in your head but couldn't find the time to do anything with it? Well, this was the week to try and make some headway. I've had this image in the works for the past month. I had worked up numerous sketches but was unable to move forward with the print because of other obligations. This past week, I finally had the time to get this piece out of my head and onto a plate.

I'm using ImagOn photopolymer film to create the plate. I started with sketches and personal photos. Drawings were scanned, photos altered, and everything was mixed together and played around with in photo-shop. I printed out a few versions on acetate and then scratched into and drew on them until I had something worth proofing. I like to use Stabilo pencils and Speedball Screen Filler to add darks and a variety of scratch board & dental tools to pull out lights. After a couple of preliminary proofs, I altered the image and ended up with this latest negative.

The plates were exposed in my NuArc exposure unit; first to a dot screen and then to the negative. I had a number of scrap pieces of Plexi so I decided to use it as my base for the Imagon. This allowed me to play around with the film and images and if I wasn't happy with the outcome, just grab another piece of plexi. If I was using copper, I would need to strip the film from the plate to reuse the copper and that would take time. The film adheres well to the plexi and the thickness of the plate affords me with a nice plate line.

These are some of the first plates I proofed. I wasn't happy with them so I'll just make up a tray of strong soda ash solution and let them soak over night to strip the film from the plexi.

Originally, I though that I wanted to print the image as a dyptic. These first proofs were separate plates. I taped the proofs together to see how the images related.

These are the latest proofs. Right now, I prefer the image as one plate so that's the direction I'm moving in. My problem is that I'm never satisfied and just keep tweaking things. At some point I'll say 'enough already' and just forge ahead...I hope.

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