For this first large-scale printing I intended to print single color (black) and later hand-color these little critters, so out came the watercolor paper. And, hm... out came some problems.
I had suspected that my earlier efforts to recalibrate the press had not gone quite right, and the first print attempt made that abundantly clear:
|Hmmm. That just ain't right!|
Nope, that's not a trick of the light. That's a good impression in the upper right corner and a lousy one in the lower left. In this photo the leading (into the press rollers) edge is on the right, so clearly the roller isn't balanced. What I don't understand is the image also getting lighter towards the left (trailing) edge. Hm.
I messed around with the press adjustments and found what I thought would be a good balance. The second impression was more even, but still too light to satisfy me. I'm printing on Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper, so it has a fairly pronounced tooth, but I want a nice, solid black line. (Without cranking down the pressure enough to cause embossing.)
It seemed like dampening the paper might be the way to go, but I don't really have a set-up for working with wet paper. I've no good way to ensure even wetting... no blotters on hand...not even a spray bottle or fresh sponge! Oh well! I soaked some shop towels and gently wiped one side of the paper as evenly as I could.
(Ah, the smell of Arches watercolor paper. Snark. Could they make the sizing any stinkier? But I digress. )
But a little water was definitely what was needed, because...success!
|Embiggenable with a click...|
In just about an hour and a half I had... let's see... 18 times 9... 162 little linocuts. Of course I have more to print, and I still have to paint them, and trim them, but, hey! Pretty darned exciting, if I do say so myself.