Moving on from Positive and Negative Masked Mono Prints I developed this further with the next exercise by experimenting with the use of different colours. Returning once more to the bodies in my earlier experiments, I kept the same body shapes and set about using different colours and printing get masks on top of each other.
First I experimented with this vibrant yellow and royal blue I’d used previously in my Henri Matisse experiments. With the first example (blue body, yellow background) I’ve not quite lined up the positive and negative masks properly so there is a slight gap between the two, I do think however there is good consistency with the layer of print ink on the plate which I am pleased with. For the second attempt I inverted the colours, and the yellow has taken on more of a lime green hue due to the paint mixing slightly on the roller and plate, but I really like the colour here. The registration is also much better and there is only a slight gap around the very edges of the positive and negative prints. The remaining prints are just ghost prints I have taken of each example.
For the next following attempts I decided to use red and blue, you can see here the stencils I have used, and there is definitely I think some inconsistency with the layering of the inks here. I’ve again mismatched the positive and negative print slightly with the first print (blue background red body), however my second attempt, inverting the colours is much better, there is a pretty consistent singular white gap between the positive and negative prints.
Experimenting further with the two coloured masked prints I used the residual paint left on the printing plate to create further prints by using back drawing. To me these bodies reminded me not necessarily of sleeping bodies, because of the lack of features they appeared to me more like dead bodies, or like the taped body scenes you might find when a crime has taken place, so I wanted to explore this further with the idea of these bodies lying in the ground. I chose the vibrant colours for the body so they would stand out and then this dull grey green for the “grassy ground”. The first attempt I wasn’t vigorous enough with my back drawing to pick up the grassy surface so attempted to press a little harder and work in the lines a little more in my second attempt. I think the second attempt is more successful, and they do indeed look quite eerie.
Thinking more about different techniques which can be used in mono printing I explored this idea further of the “dead bodies” as it were, using just a faint yellow for the body, and then a quite dark teal/green for the ground. I again used the residual ink left on the plate for my previous prints. To being with, I used quite haphazard stiff paint brush markings and I haven’t quite pressed the paper completely on the plate so there is a slight misprint at the very top of the page, the second attempt is much more defined. I tried to be more systematic using the stiff bristles to depict the natural grass/foliage, and made sure this time to print evenly across the page. There is a slight undercurrent of yellow underneath, so it feels as though maybe it could be a body floating on some kind of boggy marsh in the moonlight.
For these examples I just decided to take some ghost prints of the previous plates using different paper to compare the outcomes on both.
Lastly the final experiment with two coloured masked prints prompted me to layer the masks using positive and negative as well as additional colour. For my first attempt on the left I had aimed to have all bodies leaning in the same direction but failed to realise the mirror imaging effect that comes with mono printing! I do however quite like the overall effect, it’s as if the white body is the original and then these alternate bodies or personalities even, are trying to peel away from them. I managed to get the printing correct in my second attempt in having all of the bodies face the right way round, and I think this particularly makes the print quite powerful. To me I can see three bodies all laying in a fetal like position, both comforting in a sort of cuddling, soothing way but also slightly disturbing, with all of these bodies almost clawing at each other. The background printing of blue isn’t as quite as opaque and uniform as the first print however, so I think this could be improved. The way both prints and their colours interact with one another is quite interesting with the flashes of red/orange/yellow and then the dampened tones sitting atop the blue.
Lastly I again used the residual paint of the plate to create these ghost prints. I do particularly like the process of ghost printing in the entire mono print process, it’s like an interesting bonus to the aim of the original print.