07 March 2006
Barens and Speckles
Working on my "bee" print today, I printed a light/bright yellow background and then decided that I wanted it to have more texture (goma zuri) and to be a more golden color. I've found goma zuri to be easier to achieve on fresh paper than on an already-inked area, but I had an idea for how I might be able to get a good goma on this overprint. It hinged on which baren I would use.
Here are the three types of baren I have:
The first baren I got was the Murasaki baren. It's wonderful and very versatile, but because I have some repetitive stress injury in my wrist I sometimes find it too strenuous to use, especially for large areas. A ball-bearing baren was recommended to me, and that's now the one I use the most. It's smooth and requires very little pressure to get a good impression. I also tried an inexpensive plastic disk baren, which I've been very dissatisfied with. It feels good, but it doesn't deliver enough pressure for the large areas of color I generally print and no matter what I do, I always get very speckled results. But I realized that for this situation, trying to get goma zuri on an overprint, the disk baren might be perfect. So I used a deeper yellow-gold and the plastic disk baren to get this result:
Nice speckles that allow the lighter yellow to shine through. Now on to the bees.