The Printmaker’s Palette: Color Overlays with Akua Inks


when printing multi registered plates a print maker needs to consider how one color will print on top of the previous color soy-based Akoo intaglio inks are transparent by nature and ideal for printing overlays to help predetermine how colors will interact with one another handmade graduated transparent color charts made with a coup intelli inks are being used in a minute I will demonstrate how you can make your own color charts exactly like these I also have four plates which I will print one on top of another each plate will be inked with one color and printed in order of light to dark the plates will be proofed using two separate pallets of the same basic color scheme I will be using only primary colors and black I think you will be surprised to see the range of colors that can be achieved from this very limited palette palette a will be hands a yellow scarlet red ultramarine blue and lamp black a cool black transparent base will be added to all the colors except the black palette B consists of barrel ad yellow cadmium red medium hue Prussian blue hue and carbon black a warm black all colors will be used right from the jar with no modifications the color of the paper will also have an effect on the overall appearance of the print notice carbon black ink over white paper has a cool tone and over warm white paper it has a warm tone clear two-inch packing tape will be used for making graduated transparent color charts lay tape down adhesive side up labels are placed at the top and the bottom of the strip to hold it down you may notice that the name of the color is written on the top and the color index number is placed on the bottom I prepared a template ahead of time and placed it beneath the glass I’m using a two inch soft rubber speedball brayer to roll out the ink with each successive roll the color gets later to finish and seal the ink another piece of tape is laid adhesive side down over the top surface of the strip this is a collagraph plate made with carborundum grit and acrylic mediums a Cohen Taleo ink is applied with a heavily charged prayer pushing the ink down into the grooves of the plate the surface of the plate is wiped with Akua wiping fabric using the intaglio method typically a call graph plate is difficult to wipe but with the buttery consistency of a qu intaglio ink wiping takes less time and effort than traditional edging inks the areas of the plate with a tooth will hold a greater amount of D than the slick smooth surface of the plate there’s usually a thin layer being left on the slick surface of the plate these areas can be selectively wiped clean with a cotton swab this will allow for higher contrast and highlights I’m printing on white barnum 16:18 paper that has been previously dampened in a wet pack all the plates have been inked ahead of time this way I don’t have to be concerned with the paper drying before the final color is printed registration is made easy by using clear plastic plates before proceeding to the blue and black plates I want to check and make sure that I am on par with my original color plan the yellow and red overlay have created the orange that we saw using our transparent color charts with these types of dimensional plates it is best to print with the paper on top after registration flip the plate over before running it through the press now you can see the wide color range created by overlapping three colors a full spectrum of color has been achieved the last black inked drypoint play pulls together the final image now that we have two prints in two different palettes let’s compare palette B is made up of darvid yellow a warm orange yellow cadmium red medium hue a cool blue red Prussian blue a cool deep blue carbon black a warm brown black pallid a is made up of hands yellow a cool green yellow scarlet red a warm orange red ultramarine blue a cool red blue lamp black a cool blue-black all of which have been cut with transparent base except for the black on the print made with pallet B you can see how the warm yellow and cool blue has created a golden light green whereas the print made with pallet a the cool yellow and the warm blue overlap and create a lemon light green carbon black a brown black was used in palette B on this print to create higher contrast against the Prussian blue hue lamp black a blue-black against ultramarine blue creates less contrast now that I have made my color comparisons I feel ready to print an edition using this palette

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