Soft Ground with Water-Soluble Ink and Acrylic Mediums

We designed a series of experiments to find a substitute for the asphaltum/wax soft ground. In our intital test we rolled Graphic Chemical water-based block printing ink (without modifiers) directly onto a degreased copper plate. However after a few attempts, which involved elements of drawing with a pencil and transferring textured items onto the plate, we realized that unmodified Graphic Chemical water-based ink dried too quickly. In order to create a delicate drawing with a wide array of tonal distinctions we needed more time and a retarder to slow the drying process. We started to use the Orono ground: a mixture of 3 parts Graphic Chemical Water-based Block Printing Ink (Peacock Blue), 2 parts Golden Acrylic Silkscreen Medium, and 1/2 part Golden GAC 200. We tested this mixture using either newsprint or clear tracing paper as our transfer materials and a sharp #2 pencil as our drawing instrument. Our results indicate the maximum amount of time that we where able to draw on the copper plate using the Orono ground and the best procedure for applying the soft ground to the degreased plate. Special thanks to Curtis Wright for introducing us to this ground.

Research Project Tests