Friday, September 21, 2012

A very disappointing monoprinting session

I started this session last Sunday, after I was sure my altered book class had posted properly. I began with some ink, my new brayer, and an old wooden brayer that I simply can't get paint on. I placed a sheet of card stock under the acrylic plate that will hold the paint. The card stock is there to show where the paper and paint need to go.


I began with two colors of paint.


Even before I had pulled my first print, these colors looked "muddy." The brayer didn't help. I had to go over the ink several times, because the brayer wanted to remove all the paint from the acrylic plate. I positioned the felt crown I bought on Friday, then pulled my first monoprint.


What a mess. I had NO idea the crown wouldn't be a good mask, but as I looked at this flop, I realized, the felt crown was too thick for monoprinting. I pulled the crown away and tried to rework the monoprint, but that didn't work, either. Just another mess, this time even muddier.


Next I laid down some green onto the clean acrylic plate and prepared to use the now clean brayer again.


The brayer just skipped over the paint and caused it to puddle on the side. I was sick. That new brayer was not even as good as my old one. I had planned to add red to the green after the green had dried. Instead, I just left these on the floor, closed the door, and quit in disgust. What a disappointing day. What is it with me and brayers? I really need help with a good lesson on brayers.

So, before you suggest it, I won't be buying a Gelli plate anytime soon for my monoprints. I've seen how much they cost! And I won't be buying another brayer anytime soon, either. I now have FOUR and none of them work for me. Personally, I somehow suspect it's the operator and not the brayer. Have you made or purchased anything lately that disappointed you? Feel free to share. I need the encouragement!

_____________________________

20 thoughtful remarks:

see you there! said...

When I have used a brayer to spread paint I have put the blob of paint on something else (an old china plate works) and run the brayer back and forth to load it and then use the brayer to apply the paint to the paper or whatever. That may not be the effect you are going for tho.

Darla

Healing Woman said...

As usual, I love your honesty about products. As far as being disappointed with any product lately...I'd have to say that I have not yet found a pen that writes over collaged paintings. I have trouble signing my name to any artpiece because of it. Let me know if you have found a good one.

*jean* said...

i think it might help to put some cushion under your brayer plate...like a layer of paper towels or a regular hand towel...also, whenever your mix opposite colors that are opposite on the color wheel, you will get mud...try analogous colors...also, a great place for videos on printing is linda germain's site, she has great vids on applying and using a gelatin plate...that wooden brayer is not for inking...i hope that helps

*jean* said...

you may have used too much paint...you go in one direction several times to ink up the brayer...i think it may help to watch some of linda's videos...

MadBirdDesignsUK said...

It could be the INK, not the brayer. Just a thought.

Lisa Graham Art said...

Monoprints look difficult to do. Just stopping by to see what all you've been up to...you do so much! It's so great to be so adventurous!

Michelle V. Alkerton said...

Sorry for your disappointment. Are you using a soft brayer? I noticed in the video tutorials they say to use a soft rubber brayer. I only have a hard rubber brayer and I noticed I was having the same issue of picking up the paint instead of spreading it, when using on plexiglas, but I had no problem with it on gelatin. I'd say postpone buying a Gelli Printing Plate since you can make your own real cheap which is perfect for experiments. Check out Linda Germain's blog Printmaking Without A Press for links to her easy recipe and lots of tutorials. I just tried it the other day and it worked! You can read my posts Monoprint experiments coming and Favourite pulls from today's experiment Enjoy a creative weekend whatever you play with :).
Stay inspired!

*jean* said...

i use an acrylic brayer and it works fine...but there is a technique for inking a brayer...and i agree with michelle, the gelatin is a completely different ballgame...linda's videos are awesome

elle said...

oh dear. Don't give up. The tips above are good ones. Try 2 colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel. Padding would maybe help. And look at some videos. I wonder if maybe you over roll. Is there such a thing? Bless you!

FabricFascination said...

Hi,

Congratulations, you are one of the winners of the Abakhan Tutorial Exchange!

Please email me your mailing address as soon as possible. Abakhan will be sending a set of feathers to you, to use in a crafty design of your choosing. You then have until October 12th to post a tutorial on your blog or website showing how you made your creation.

Please email me when your tutorial is posted, and I will also post it on the Totally Tutorial blog.

Thanks so much for participating. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Kym

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Well I know nothing about brayers so I am not going to be any help on this one, except to commiserate with you. I have bought and returned 3 "pasta" clay machines because they were made so poorly. When you posted the polymer clay lesson, I had just bought another one but was dreading trying it. That's why it took so long to post. I actually now have the same one you have, and it worked perfectly!

Dortesjs said...

Don't give up, it will come to you hugs from denmark

Bev said...

Elizabeth that wooden brayer looks heavy to use , anyway a way to use it u could varnish it and then it might pick up the paint...

sandee said...

Hey, at least you are trying something new, sometimes it just takes practice, I remember the first time I used embossing powders and thought I had wasted my money on them, actually didn't even use them for months afterward, and then all of a sudden got the hang of them and now they are one of my favorite techniques! If anyone can master the brayer, it will be you Elizabeth, I have complete faith in you! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina :)

Terrie Purkey said...

My results with a brayer are similar in that if I put paint directly on my paper I end up with nothing but blobs. I don't know if I have a hard or soft brayer - never could actually figure out the difference. On some video somewhere I saw the artist put the paint in a separate tray and load the brayer to get an even spreading and that actually works really well. I use a washed styrofoam meat tray and it does keep the paint more even.

Although I 'm sure it was very frustrating (that comes across loud and clear!), what I admire about you is that you share your successes AND your less successful adventures. We ALL learn from that - you're invaluable! :)

Halle said...

That is disappointing. Keep trying...maybe it was the paint...the paper...the angle...the mood...the humidity...need I come up with anymore?!? It happens and you roll with it, right?

Gaby Bee said...

Sorry for your disappointment, Elizabeth. I think the wooden brayer is to hard and not for inking, I use a soft brayer and it works fine. Keep on trying, it will work out all right.

Be good to yourself!
Gaby

Mary Hansen said...

Hi, Elizabeth! I have recently discovered your blog and I like it! Wish I could help with your paint/brayer issues, but hang in there - I'll learn from your experiences. The wooden brayer you pictured is one I use for baking, so I'll be intrigued to see your other artful uses for it.

Kimberly Hogan said...

Mine is not a story of brayer frustration, but a story of frustration with crafting equipment none the less. I recently bought a Zutter binder. I had envisioned all the awesome journals I was going to make with it. It looked simple enough to use. Well it was not as easy as I thought. I watched the how to video on their site at least 15 times. I still didn't quite understand the whole idea behind the bar on the side and the little black plate. I then proceeded to practice punching the holes prior to sticking my chipboard into the slot. (who wants to throw out chipboard??) Well after about an hour of uneven holes and punches and trying various ways to achieve an even line of holes that didn't end up running off the side, in my heightened state of severe frustration and a few cuss words later, I boxed up my brand new Zutter and have decided to sell it on ebay. Sounds immature I know. It just isn't worth the aggravation. I much rather make my journals out of old books anyway. I enjoy it much more and it is more personal. And way less frustrating....
Thanks for sharing, sorry to hear you are frustrated, but I have to admit it is refreshing to know I am not alone in having difficulty in trying to use equipment and achieving success. If it makes you feel better, I love your site. Your blog is what has helped me to alter and redo old books into something new. You truly are an inspiration to me. Now if you can show mw how to use that zutter you'll be my hero.... :)
Blessings,
Kimmie<3

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Here is my website: how much should i weigh for my height and age