In My Printing Apron

debbie little wilson

Tag Archives: solar plate

Next Step


So I made solar plates from my three of my drawings. I made templates of certain areas so that I can use them to cut out handmade Japanese papers for the chine cole’ part of my etching.

And then I inked the plates and prepared the chine cole’ papers. And printed them… These are just a few of this next step... Next, I am going to hand color  certain areas with my prismacolor pencils …. I have seven more plates of women in hats to make…. yikes and to PRINT !!!!!

I will give you a closer look once they are finished..


What is Cluttering my Drawing Table…..

Well, I got into a drawing frenzy and started drawing 8×8 images of women in hats.

The deal is that I am doing an art exhibit at the Gallery at Round Top in Round Top, TX. with the exquisite painter, John Pinkerton. I love this man’s work. Here is a link to his website…  ….Our show is going to be called He Said/She Said… So in some emails with John, we discussed what we were going to “say”… We had no idea. LOL. We went our separate ways to see what we were inclined to do.

He came back with 8 or so small paintings of nude (or more appropriately, shirtless) men in hats. Since I have been wanting to do women in hats for quite some time, I felt like now would be a good time to “answer” him back with etchings of  prudish women in hats (with clothing)

So I have rough sketched about 10 women and now I need to figure out how I want to finish them with chine colle’ and the etching process. They won’t always be hanging with John’s happy, shirtless men so these women need to be able to stand alone, as well. Now, I am in the process of  treating each one individually and trying to decide if more detail needs to go into their clothing or into the background.

This may seem like a chaotic way to work and it is… but it is the way these are coming about …

basically, I am a chaotic mess anyway….

You can see that by what is cluttering up my drawing table.






On to the Next Project

I make my living by selling at large art shows and a few galleries… So, now I have to switch gears and start producing work for my upcoming shows.. I am getting ready for two events actually…. A Gallery show in Round Top Texas at the end of March and my first art show  Main Street Art Festival in Fort Worth, Texas  in April …

For Fort Worth, I always start by “Cowgirling Up”…

Since I have been working small, I want to stretch out and work a little bigger  for awhile …. I am going to make some monoprint collages that will be 17 x 17 . For these I have some old Ranch Romance magazines with wonderful graphics on the front.  I tore off the covers and will collage them into my monoprints along with bits of etchings floating around..

When I start, I lay them out and make my decisions about what will go into the monoprint…  Remembering  that I need a good strong composition to hold it all together,  I need to know where the pieces will be on the plate so that I will know where to paint the printer’s ink to make it all work….

Here are a few of the “starts” that I am working on today….

Ranch Romance Monoprint "Start"

These are waiting in the wings to be dealt with…. Instead of  just putting them in a stack, I spread them out so that I can keep glancing at them as I am walking by, in case an idea “spurs” me on (so to speak)… Right now I am in cowgirl mode but I have a few ideas for other subjects for these large monoprints so I am excited to jump right in on these and giddy up and go (oh, dear….sorry)…. 

waiting in the wings

 Off to Work… my Apron is on and I am about to put in the ear buds of my iPod…I think I will listen to Pink  today for these..

Yee Ha……

The Salina Project…. FINISHED….

Well I did it….. I finished the edition…. Here is what 250 etchings looks like…. well with a piece of foamcore separating each group of 50….

250 solar etching

close up

So they are now packed in the box to ship them to Salina Kansas tomorrow.  And then on to monoprinting….. woo hoo…

The Salina Project… brief intermission, now back to work

So,  for the last two days, Ken and I drove with our brother in law, Joe and our niece, Mary and her soon to be husband, Tyler to listen to a talk that Joe had to give at the Victoria College in Victoria Texas. It was about the influence of the oil business on music… it was quite riveting as are most lectures by Joe ..

here are a few of  the more “tame”  photos taken on the trip…

Joe Specht lecturing

Joe and Mary... Happy Birthday sweet Mary

Ken and Tyler looking at the "good" photos...

So now that we are home, it is back to coloring the etchings for the Salina project…. they seemed to have grown while I was gone… Actually, I have done 70 so far…

Gotta get after it before two of our grandsons, Ben and Ian get here to spend the night. Break time is over…

all 250 etchings...

ready and waiting

my coloring table....

“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…