Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dendritic Mono-printing

In keeping with my plan to watch more art videos and less news, I came across a video by Cat Hand on dendritic mono-printing, which sounds way more complicated than it is.  The technique is basically this:   spread a fairly thick layer of acrylic paint between two sheets of glass,  smoosh  the glass together, then carefully lift the top piece of glass off and  place a piece of paper over the painted surfaces to lift prints.  Cat has also done this using sheets of acrylic instead of glass with similar results.

Two colors of blue acrylic paint spread onto glass.  I used glass from cheap photo frames.   If you've done Gelli printing, you'll notice that this technique uses a pretty thick layer of paint, not the brayered thin layer for Gelli printing.

Here is another color combo, sandwiched between two pieces of glass.  I only had these two different sizes, and it was an emergency to try this out, so made do with what I had.  Once the top piece of glass is on, press pretty hard all over the surface to make sure you have good contact contact with the paint .  You will be able to see the pattern begin to emerge in the paint  - so cool.

The hardest part of this is lifting off the top piece of glass without smearing the paint.  You can just see the metal palette blade I used to pry up the top - still a bit tricky.

As soon as you lift off the top piece of glass, you can see the dendritic pattern in the paint.   This branching pattern is everywhere in nature - tree branches, leaf veins, river deltas, neurons, and blood vessels. There's a whole lot of math involved in how this happens that I don't pretend to understand!

So now you have two pieces of glass with patterned paint.  Place paper (I used card stock and some French dictionary pages) on the paint and lightly rub over it to make sure you have good contact.  If you rub too hard, you'll obliterate the pattern.   I was able to get two good prints off each piece of glass. Carefully lift off the paper to see the magic:

Like Gelli printing, it's hard to stop once you start.  Each piece is unique - I love the combination of pattern and white space.   In some I see leaves, others look like corral - so much fun!  These will make great backgrounds.   I used one to make a simple sympathy card:

And couldn't let the paint left on the glass go to waste, so I swiped some tags through for playing with later.

And just like that, another obsession is born.

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