Recently I was printing a small edition of “Ebb” and “Flow,” and after I finished, I wanted to test the same colors on a larger plate. I was having trouble getting the silver to look good on a tiny print. I really wanted to print something I liked with silver elements.
The plate is a negative, so the image is in reverse.
I inked my plate mostly with Charbonnel Etching Ink in Prussian Blue and Solid Violet, leaving some plate tone, then used my scraper to unevenly apply silver on top of the darker colors. I avoided placing the silver on the edges of shapes since there should be a clear separation of light and dark areas. Instead of wiping the edges of the plate competely, I like to leave a thin layer of ink (for plate tone) to ensure the highest contrast area is the face.
I’m really, really happy with the results.
Charbonnel Etching Ink has a lot of depth, and the colors are vibrant. I love adding gold or silver to my prints. I’m able to work with an image with two values and adjust the colors and plate tone to make it look less flat.
The edition is called “variable” because each print is inked with different color combinations. I’m not trying to print identical copies. Eventually I’ll do more traditional editions, but I’m learning a lot by adjusting factors between prints.
I didn’t expect to see so much ink left on the plate after printing. It’s hard to predict the results on paper when looking at ink on the greenish gold plate, so I was curious how it would look.
I had more paper, so I tried printing the plate once more with the residual ink. I was surprised by the texture. It looks like very tiny beads of ink. The silver is much less obvious, but the colors have some shimmer.
Since I had one more piece of damp paper and the plate looked about the same, I tried again. The second ghost print turned out pretty similar to the first one. I probably could have printed it again. I like the soft pastel purple and blue.
Overall, this was really fun to try. I enjoy getting surprise results, and I like the cool texture in the ghost prints.
I haven’t tried mixing the blue and violet with white yet. I’d like to find out if I can mix pastel shades similar to the ghost print colors.