In My Printing Apron

debbie little wilson

Tag Archives: printmaking

“And Mary Campbell led the Band”…. coloring

I deliberated yesterday on how to color this etching and finally I came up with how to do it. Generally, I used some of the same colors of the hand tinted photo. They just seemed to work…. 

colored version


 I use Prismacolor pencils and after I spot color, I take cotton swabs dipped in turpenoid and dab at the area to tear down the color . It blends into the paper . There are a few spots of color that I don’t touch to keep the color on top of the paper and look more bright. 

applying the turpenoid

Here are a few of my stacks… I estimate it will take me at least 20 hours to completely color and sign my whole edition…

a couple of stacks

The Salina Project…. Printing Accomplished…

I finished, or I should say Ken and I finished the printing part of the project and they are all weighted down and drying.

Today, I am going to start figuring out how I want to color them… I have an idea but I need to experiment a little…  I have only 5 extra and I may play around with coloring in photoshop first to get a nice color combination.. I feel like it would be fun to use some sort of muted primary color pattern… I will show you what I come up with… 

The Salina Project… in the last stretch

I can’t believe it… I counted how many etchings I have done so far… 225…. I am over the moon.

Ken is going to help me once again today and we will bat out what is left in a couple of hours… I really can not believe how much easier it is to have an assistant … Ken has been a dream assistant and kept up a good pace.. I might need to think about how I could afford hiring a part time assistant…. 

And they can all be drying this weekend and I will start coloring by Monday… I am so relieved… I mean, I always knew I could do it but guess what?????? I really CAN…. LOL… 

Okay, off to do the next batch… I think I have 30 more sheets so that I will have some extra in case I need to switch some out…. and I will need some to experiment on the coloring… 

I love my job….

The Salina Project… still?????

Really, I don’t mean to complain but this still seems like a lot of paper left… and I have about 45 wet  sheets in my paper pack right now and 20 soaking in my water vat… I have got to stop measuring this stack… yes, it has gone down but it really appears unchanging… I swear… It is still BIG

maybe 2 inches but that still is a lot.... trust me

The Salina Project… I love my assistant…

Like I told you yesterday, my husband Ken became my printing assistant… After he made some minor adjustments to my studio (rearranging some obstacles in his way), we went into full swing… We were able to print out 50 etchings..

It was great not to have to wash my hands constantly but my arms got quite a work out with all that wiping… and my BACK … oh, dear, I must say, it has been a long time since I have printed this hard… At one point, yesterday, I had to laugh because I was wondering what Nellie would say if she saw us working in tandem that way…. She would have loved it and I would have enjoyed telling her about it… Later, I will tell you about my mentor and friend, Nellie Buel.

But for now….. back to work… Ken has gone to a doctor’s appointment and when he comes back, we start our team printing but I need to print some before he gets here…

The Salina Project…. Help to the Rescue

This month has been a strange month… Things, like life, just happen and before you know it time has sped up and is gone. Every day this month had something  crop up … I have been printing in between these “life events” but that means my project is not going as quickly as I thought it would… 

My sweet husband has volunteered  to help me print…. Because this edition is so large, I have two identical plates in case one wears down because of the wiping. To keep everything consistent, I will wipe a plate and he will blot the paper, place the paper over the plate and run it through the printing press while I am inking and wiping the next plate… Our thought is that it will speed things up if I don’t have to take the time out to wash my hands in between each inking and printing, which I am constantly having to do… 

Here is Ken doing something he would rather do …. Kayaking… so this is huge that he is helping me…. 

Ken and Mom at Inks Lake 2011

The Salina Project… printing and listening to my iPod

I am blissfully printing away and listening to my “Favorites” Playlist on my iPod.. and just when I am thinking I can handle this, I glance at my stack and notice that even though I have printed 25 etchings and I have 20 sheets of paper in my paper pack and 20 sheets of paper soaking in my water vat, it doesn’t look like I have even touched my stack…. I thought measuring would make me feel better….. sigh….

still a stack of paper

It is still HUGE….. sigh… back to printing…

The Salina Project.. Oh Dear…

stack of paper

Oh, MY…. this is what a stack of 250 papers for this edition looks like… It took me over 2 hours just to tear these…. okay… now I have to go to my Defensive Driving Class and dream about printing all of these…. or take a nap…. 




As requested by Mary Fischer, here is a photo of my stack of paper with a ruler next to it to further show size…. But truthfully, even that doesn’t do it justice….. It is BIG and it looks like it is expanding the more I stare at it… and while I was cutting it up, I kept thinking, surely, I am almost finished…. 

measuring this stack..... yikes....

The Salina Project… let the hard work begin..

the arrival of all the paper

So now the labor of  this project begins… I just got my shipment of paper from Daniel Smith and I need to tear it in to same sized pieces so it will be ready to soak and print.  I, also, ordered glassine paper to go in between the etchings when I ship it so that each print will be protected. 

I forgot to mention that I  made a paper template that I placed under the plastic sheeting that protects the bed of my press. This template shows where I will place the solar plate on the bed and where I will place the paper over the plate. This will make it easy for me to print each etching in the edition squarely in the middle of each piece of paper. One less thing to worry about. 

The paper I am using is Arches Cover White… just so you know.

So I am now off to tear my paper before I  leave for the  Defensive Driving Class that I have to take… I have a lead foot when it comes to driving…  This is where life gets in the way of work… Tomorrow morning, Ken and I have to go and jury a Science Fair at the elementary school where our daughter teaches… She is in charge of the Science Fair and we have been judges for about 5 or more years…. This is where the fun part of life gets in the way of work..


The Salina Project… Second Test…

I think I got it… this second plate is much better… after adjusting and reworking the band instruments some, I got my detail back and I am much happier with the look of the image and the plate is a beauty. I am much relieved.

the second plate

Again, you may not be able to see the changes on this one but they are there.  Now, how many of these do I print???? OMG… now I am off to print 250 of these… wish me luck.. I am going to cut up the paper that I have and start printing that and wait for the rest of my paper and ink to get here… Okay… I can do this… I have to get back to work….