Sunday, July 05, 2009

First proofs

Here's the block locked up in the press, ready for rolling with ink. As this block is a recycled, resurfaced block, it's height is somewhat less than type high. This isn't a problem, it just necessitates the insertion of a couple of bits of stout card beneath the block to raise it slightly. Although my press has an adjustable height roller, because of the card I haven't needed to alter the height setting from it's normal block position.

And here's the first proof, complete with many scrawled instructions to myself. I try to make sure untidy bits are sorted out and unsatisfactory areas highlighted for more work. As you can see, I managed to forget to engrave the little stove chimney coming out of a roof! I also feel the courtyard scene may be a tad too dark and have earmarked that for another look after next proof. The two round marks on either side of the print, are where I forgot to wipe the stray ink off the quoins holding the block secure in the galley tray! Silly me!

As I make amendments to the block I tick off each point so I don't forget. Time to run off another proof!
The quoin mark strikes again! I think I shall set up the block next proof so that the quoins are set further away from the inked area and behind some wooden 'furniture', which is printer-speak for the wooden spacers used to secure type and blocks in position for printing.

This proof is a bit light but ok for checking all is well. I still feel the courtyard scene could do with a bit of a lift. The sunlit wall is too dominant in comparison and the surrounds need toning up to create more of a pool of light. I shall have a ponder. Pondering time in engraving is at least as important as the cutting itself .

5 comments:

PG said...

Tha's my proof press that is!

Looking really good so far - Zen and the art of wood engraving?

Magpie Magic said...

It's looking great already. :-) Well worth all the hard work. The textures are lovely and interesting and the gull particularly looks good.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Really interesting to see the difference between the first and second proofs, especially the 'tidying up' of the sky and quay area, which makes the second image look so much more 'polished'. Lovely!

Jan said...

Fascinating to see the final touches. I was trying to find a way of putting the two proofs side by side but my technologically challenged brain could'nt work out how. Did you decide on a title yet? I think the gull is announcing the arrival of refreshments.

Sue said...

Thanks for the comments, folks!

Gretel: Yup, the press is very similar indeed to yours. It's so simple to use, now I've got to know it's little ways.

You're right, engraving is very Zen-like. Ommmmmmmmmm...........

Sybille,
I'm enjoying the process so much. It's impressive, how many textural marks engraving is capable of.

Lesley, It never fails to amaze me, how different an image can look when printed, from how it appears on the block. I've learned to hold back cutting a bit till the first proof in case I don't actually need to take any more wood out. :-)

Jan,
I think you could probably open both images in separate windows,to campare but I'll upload a version showing both proofs together, later today.