What Lies Beneath

Over the past few days I've pulled out my armoury of paints, inks, pencils and brushes to create some colours and textures that will be used in an animation Panda Horse is currently working on. Whilst rummaging through my drawers I rediscovered some printing ink I had bought last year, which I had used to do an spontaneous session of mono printing. Upon seeing the ink and roller I suddenly felt the urge to reacquaint myself with this mark making technique. I glanced across to my pin board and at that moment decided to recreate an old photograph stuck to the board, which was of my Nanna taken during the 1950s.

So to get started I dusted off an A3-sized piece of glass that I had found tucked away in my desk shelves. On it I squirted a small amount of ink then used a roller to smooth the black ink into a thin A4-sized film across the surface. Making haste of the momentarily wet ink, I quickly I took a piece of Heavy Weight A4 paper, placed it gently onto the inked glass, then put the printed copy of my Nanna's photograph on the very top, making sure to secure both levels of paper onto the glass with some masking tape. I reached for my sharpest pencil, then began to trace the photograph, aware that the lines I made would be unpredictably transferred onto the underside of the page beneath.

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Once I had finished tracing, I carefully pulled the masking tape away to release the paper sheets and reveal the impression I had made underneath. The mono print technique had produced a softly textured surface along with a slightly bleeding line quality that is reminiscent of the process. Happy with the output, I put the image down to dry. Looking down at the surface of the glass I also noticed that the negative version that remained was also quite beautiful. I employed the help of my partner to hold it beneath the skylight, then took out my camera to capture the image as described by the light.

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