Today I finished the fourth color on each print. They are coming along, but are not as successful as I had hoped. I usually feel this way at some point in the process–the nice thing about reduction prints is that with each color printing, the look of the print changes completely. Who knows, after I print the fifth color tomorrow I may decide I love the prints.
I woke up to a big snowstorm this morning, about 10 inches of snow! All this week, the temperature has been around freezing. We don’t have a thermometer (or heat!) in the printshop, but it’s probably been in the 30’s inside all this week. This is not ideal for printing. The ink has been very stiff, especially certain colors like red and blue that tend to be stiff to begin with. So it is harder to work with and needs to be thinned out which can be a delicate balance to not add too much thinner.
The cold is also affecting the drying time of the prints. Printing over and over on top of previous color layers is best done when the previous layers are dry. They don’t have to be bone dry, but it’s best to at least let the prints dry overnight before printing the next color. In this cold weather, my prints are not drying at all and now that I have several layers built up I had to print today on very tacky prints. This can cause all kinds of problems, especially with registration.
So let’s review where I am with the Black-tailed Japanese Bantam. Here are the four stages so far, with colors printed in this order: yellow, green, gray, red.