Leslie-Parke-Almond-tree-biot

Leslie Parke, “Almond Tree – Biot”, oil on linen

Its decided, my first lithograph is going to be of “Almond Tree – Biot”.  There is some method to this madness. Since this is my first attempt at lithography, I want to learn as much as I can from the process.

If I could do anything in lithography,  I would like to do a print of the Almond Tree close to the size of the original painting. The painting is 60 inches by 70 inches. It seems to me that I could do this by putting together nine sheets of paper 22 inches by 30 inches, which is a standard size. It could be printed with the image running off the edge of the paper and then either hung together or in nine separate frames. But it might be a tad ambitious to start with that.

So, how do I get there from here.  There are several questions I need to answer to go forward.  One of the main ones has to do with the method I would use to create the colors.  Should I use what printers call “process color”: cyan, magenta, yellow and black; or should I use “index colors” — colors selected from the painting itself, such as beige, pink, yellow, and black.  The only way I can know for sure would be to do a print of the same image using these two approaches and see which one I prefer.  Once I know that, I would know which version to use on the 9-part print.

Since this image is so complex I couldn’t draw out the different color layers just by looking at it.  So I asked artist Chelsea Nye, who has lots of experience with photoshop to work with me to separate out the different layers for both color versions.  Here is a sample of one of those layers:

Almond Tree Index Beige

In order to make the two versions of this print,  I will be creating ten different plates that look something like the above. Each of these plates will be about 22 inches by 24 inches. I bought a magnifying glass with a light and look forward to drawing these plates. Could I have made this any more difficult?  I hope that I will be able to show you the proofs sometime before the next millennium.  I will be interested to find out which version you prefer.  This piece is so complex I feel as though I am heading full speed toward black ice.  I think that this project will either be great or it won’t work at all. Fingers crossed.

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