Here is what you need to complete the split fountain technique in printmaking. What is a split fountain? A split fountain utilizes multiple colors to generate a subtle change in color from one to another. The end result should have multiple colors transitioning from one to another.
Preparation is an important factor in printmaking. As you can see the paper is already prepped and ready to be printed on.
3. Below. Setting up the jig for the matrix. The jig is what will be holding the matrix in place. The matrix is the linoleum plate I will be inking and carving. I call the metal tab below a whole punch tab. This is what the paper sits on in order to hold it in the same place each time the paper and matrix is ran through the press.
Below. The blank plate.
Below. A key tool to the process. The Brayer.
Now the ink. I always mix my ink at least twice because eventually everyone’s prints begin to look the same if they just use it out of the can. Since I work full time my studio time is usually limited. I like to mix my inks the day before or prior to starting my prints. I like to store the ink clear plastic wrap.
Here is a view of the ink laid out and about to be rolled through with the Brayer.
Below. Ive completed the first color layer onto the paper. This layer will be the backround for the rest of the image which I am carving. See below.The linoleum plate 4-5 hours of carving. The details always seem to take longer don’t they?
Below. Completed Linoleum.
Below. Another close up of the complete Linoleum matrix.
So just to catch up on what we are doing now with the plate.
I’m going to do a 1-1 addition of the matrix above in both black ink on white paper as well as black ink onto one of my split fountain colored additions.
Ive of course got my relief black ink and Brayer.
And now start rolling the ink onto the matrix. Note the two photos below. You must clean up all traces of black ink from any area on the plate that you do not want to transfer to your paper on the other side. This is VERY important and can be a tedious but necessary step to ensuring a quality print. If any black transfers where it shouldn’t have the addition is ruined and I only have 5 left!
Once you are finished with inking the matrix you will place it into your Jig (remember the Jig holds the matrix in place while you are rolling it through the press).
The final product. My 1-1 additions (special version) of my Arms Dealer piece. Both in black and white and in color. My next step is to removed the top portion of positve space on the matrix, so when I print it the whole sky will be visible. If and that is a big if, everything goes well I will end up with 4 additions of that one.
So I had some significant struggles with this piece during the press process, but I learned a technique (lots of trial and error with throw away paper) that prevented it from happening. The problem was as I rolled the print through the press the paper began to pull and wrinkle, which in turn ruined the registration. I ended up ruining one of my color background additions because of it and going into a panicked state. So to fix this issue I was able to find and utilize a large rubber mat and place it onto the top of the paper before I rolled the whole think through the press. The rubber held the paper in one place. I also adjusted the pressure a little bit lighter and used more black ink to compensate.
Below: Final product. 4 additions were made.
So this is how you complete a linoleum print with a split fountain color layer included. Oh and I have to sneak this in of course. It is available for purchase at my Etsy site.
Thank you so much for taking a look.