For a little while now I’ve been experimenting with the idea¬†of working¬†imitation gold leaf (also known as Schlag Metal or Dutch Metal) into my prints.¬†See this previous post on¬†post-print embellishments.

I’ve also returned to printing with metallic inks. Last year, I tried this with some¬†fairly rough textured plates, thinking that this would¬†print quite well. It didn’t. Compared to almost every other colour inks, metallics inks just don’t seem to have enough¬†density¬†to print with a decent amount of definition. Recently though, I’ve read quite a lot of blog posts by other printmakers, who have wrestled with the same issue. One tip suggested mixing the gold with a small amount of yellow ochre or diarylide yellow ‚Äď one that would enhance the body of the colour, without altering it too much. It worked!

home page image: 'Seam' ‚Äď gold

‘Seam’ ‚Äď the plate was made using interior filler

home page image: 'Seam' ‚Äď gold detail


home page image: 'Disc IV' ‚Äď gold

I also applied the technique to the print¬†above (Disc IV). Here, sepia, yellows and gold were all used to¬†define the plate’s ridges. I suppose the danger is that I could start using metallics¬†too much. The trick is to only use them¬†sparingly, on plates¬†which are already highly textured and ‘feel’ as if they will benefit from that richness of colour.

home page image: 'Disc IV' ‚Äď gold detail

‘Disc IV’ ‚Äď detail



The reds in the as yet untitled image above was printed in the usual fashion through the press. After drying, I used a thin brush to paint a special adhesive into the blank centre channel. After a few minutes, this becomes tacky, allowing me to sprinkle the scholar metal onto the line of adhesive. You can see practice runs I made in the picture below.

Imitation gold and copper leaf

As previously mentioned, I also have some gold gilding wax to play around with. As this is much richer than the inks I use, next time I might even try mixing it into my colours before inking a plate.


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