Last week I finally finished printing the twelve color design for proposition viii.15 from Interstices & Intersections.
The print bleeds off three sides of the sheet and covers a total area
of 11 x 13.5 inches. Ten of the plates register across the entire area, a
fact that has been tormenting me since I first painted the design back
in April. I have never tried to register two colors over so large
an area, the thought of ten froze me in my tracks. I procrastinated for
months before finally re-drawing the design in separation. Even then I
tried to cut corners. In the lead up to printing I tried everything I
could to find a more expedient approach to the printing, fooling myself
for a couple of months that I would be able to get away with a mere six
plates/colors. I would mix and remix colors but every proof looked flat
and lifeless. When compared to the original painting the proofs were
completely discouraging. My solution was to draw a series of pencil
drawings that would be printed over the flat areas of color. I began by
printing the outline in a purply black and the four principal flat
colors in subtle tones of hand-ground inks: Venetian red, Bohemian green
earth, yellow ochre, and burnt umber. I then printed the pencil
drawings on top of these in darker inks of a slightly different hue.
After these nine plates the white tops of the cubes took on an
unsettling fluorescence which I toned down with a subtle cream, before
filling in the center gray background with a warm putty overlaid with a
The original watercolor painting.
One of the six color proofs.
The final twelve color print.
A video of the state and progressive proofs leading to the final print.