So I was very nervous about lithography, as anyone would know if they read my “End of the Year Crunch” post. Fortunately though today in lithography I got more than I thought I would be able to done, and will be printing the first state on Wednesday. I thought that I would only get to etch and then have to wait 24 hours before processing because we are working on stones. When working on a stone, it is preferred, according to my professor, to let the gum arabic soak into the surface overnight so that none of the grease beads merge together and fill in. But because my image was so graphic, and no dark values were placed next to one another, there was less of a chance of filling in. So I only waited an hour between etching and processing, which is the process of removing the grease drawing from the stone and replacing it with ink.
I did notice that my lines were darker after rolling up the image with ink, probably because I only gave the gum an hour to sink in, and I only used 3 drops of nitric acid in the gum. (Acid in the gum is used to further prevent the filling in of the image, that is, having the grease beads merge. The darker the image, or the more grease, the more acid needed.) I do not mind this darkening of the lines though, because I used a number 4 litho pencil to draw with and the lines were originally a little grayer than I wanted. So this darkening was actually perfect. Now all I have to hope is that everything goes well in printing.
I cut my paper bigger than my stone, because the stone is small. (Any bigger and I wouldn’t be able to lift it. It’s only 10 x 12 inches, making my image area only 6 x 8″.) So I will probably need to snake slip (which is removing the ink from the stone by rubbing) the edges of the stone where ink will surely catch. 😦
I am very excited about my image though. It is purely decorative! It confronts you directly and is easy and enjoyable to look at. There is very little thinking involved. Eye candy is all I consider it, but I do consider it beautiful and if it comes out nice, it will surely be something to frame and keep forever. Hopefully both states of the image will come out equally as nice. Two states of the image means that I draw and print one image, and then make alterations to that same image and print it a second time.
For more information on lithography, you can visit Wikipedia.