Sunday, 25 February 2018

New Kingfisher drypoint print

I've had an idea to produce a print of a kingfisher for some time and decided to make it the fourth in my series of birds in the 31cm x 23cm format.  We are very lucky to have two nesting pairs in Milton Country Park and it's unusual for a week to go by if I don't see one on my daily dog walks.  The iridescent blue flash never fails to thrill.

The print is a drypoint - made by scratching into perspex with a sharp tool.  The plate is then inked like an etching; thick black printing ink is spread onto the surface of the plate, ensuring that the ink penetrates into the lines.  I then carefully wipe the surface of the plate with tissue paper, just leaving the ink in the lines and making sure the background is completely clean.  This inking and wiping process can take up to an hour.  The plate is then placed on my etching press and 300gsm Somerset paper is placed on top and rolled through the press, which presses the ink into the paper.

The plate can produce about ten impressions, all are inked up individually. Once the ink has dried, I add watercolour and blue metal leaf to try and capture the shimmering kingfisher feathers. I then sign and edition the finished prints.

I'm really pleased with the set of four cards.  They will also shortly all be available as coasters.

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