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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Altered States

This morning I proofed out the first color of the still untitled print. The proofing process is all about finding mistakes before you actually get into the prints that will go to customers. This is not a foreign process to me, as I am a printer by trade. But in my artwork, I've never really had the luxury of correcting errors. The reason is that, until recently, my prints have been exclusively "reduction prints." A reduction print is when you ink a block with, say, yellow, and print it, then carve away anything you want to remain yellow. Then you print the next color, say blue. Then you carve away anything that is to remain blue, and so on. Reduction is nice because you're only using one block, which is cheaper and less work. Also, because you are always printing with the same block, your colors always line up perfectly (this is called "registration." The drawback is that if you do screw up on, say, color 4, the whole job is ruined. Another drawback, and the only reason I've chosen to get away from the process, is that because colors must be printed on top of other colors, the coverage gets to be very uneven, and the colors are never as vibrant as I'd like them to be.
     So, that brings me to multiple-block prints. For this print, I have carved six blocks, the colors being Light Gray, Red, Dark red, Blue, Green and a special tint I call Shadow. The first block looks very good. I printed the second block, the red, this evening, and while it went down well, as you can see, the register is way off. I'm not sure what the issue is (but I can tell you that it is 100% human error). I will have to see where the other colors hit before I can decide how I'm going to deal with this.

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