Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I am struggling with these inks...

In between visits to the acupuncturist and feeling sorry for myself I have been working and getting very cross with the safe wash etching inks that I purchased at some considerable expense, trying to do the right thing..
 Drypoint plate - Perspex - Not looking too bad
I've spent the last week or so faffing and fiddling around trying different methods to see how best to use these dam inks.  Sorry about the language, they have truly tried my patience.
 First print... Rubbish...
These water based inks are driving me nuts.....
 Collagraph with watercolour
A bit floury - Is that a new print term I've invented?
Good old Lino
Much better - But I want to do COLLAGRAPH!!! Arrr!!!!

I have tried Lino, Collagraph and Drypoint??? The colour looks flat to me and it bleeds... So annoying and frustrating... What next? A monoprint perhaps?....

I'll just have to get over the expense....Order some oil based inks,  and clean up with vegetable oil.


  1. We tried and failed miserably with safe wash inks. The colour just wasn't satisfactory let alone the technical difficulties caused trying to get a decent print.
    Eventually gave up and returned to oil based inks. By far and away the best inks I've found are Hawthorne Printmakers Stay Open inks. The colour is brilliant, there is no wastage because they do what it says on the tin - stay open - with no skinning over.
    I clean up using vegetable oil and Citriwash (also available from Hawthorne Print supplies). Very occasionally use white spirit for creative effects and with some pigments to finish off cleaning the rollers.

  2. What a shame those collagraphs look good despite the duff ink.

  3. As i have no knowledge of printing i am unable to help, but Carol's Original Prints advice seems worth a try. Lovely to hear from you, sorry you are still suffering from your pain, hope to see you at the end of the month.xx

  4. Hi Julie,

    i really struggle using water based inks too. I have found that you need to use more of it than oil based inks to get a good print, and it always produces a flat matt finish compared to oil based.
    I know it's a pain to clean up, and the drying time is longer- but i would definitely say it's worth it.

  5. Oh, printmaking makes my head hurt. That's why I've stuck with pen and ink. Haha. I'd say go to the oil based. You can use vegetable oil and simple green to clean up. Mineral spirits work too and they don't smell. Good luck!

  6. This technique is quite new to me, so I don't know what it is supposed to look like; I quite like the boat print, a nostalgic look, and yes, the lino cut is an excellent print, thank you so much for my sample -- and before all, for the gift.

  7. Hi Julie,

    I have never used waterbased inks for collagraphs because they dry too fast. I'm not sure, but you may want to check to see if they have extenders that can be added to the ink, so you would have more time to work with the ink without having it dry out on you.
    This has nothing to so with waterbased inks, but I came across an interesting find in a book by Claudine Hellmuth. She uses just regular oil paints instead of printing inks. She claims they're easier to find and come in a large variety of colors. She just adds linseed oil if the paints are too tacky.
    As for the clean up, I use vegetable oil and then finish up with a degreaser purchased from my local hardware store. I wouldn't use the vegetable oil to clean your rollers, because it ruins them. I use a SoySolv to clean my rollers.
    Hope some of this info. will help and I hope you feel better!


Welcome to one and all, please feel free to leave a few words..

I am always pleased to read what you have to say and will always try to answer any questions you have to ask. ~ Julie