Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asuncion - Print in Progress

I thought you might be interested in what I am currently working on. I decided to make a memory map about Paraguay again, this time Asuncion (the capital of Paraguay). I love spending time in Asuncion, despite it being a rather noisy and smelly city. There is so much to see and to observe and in many ways Asuncion to me IS Paraguay with the slums lying right next to the presidential palace stretching all the way to the cathedral, poverty next to gorgeous architecture, an empty lot used as a soccer field, a peasant couple resting on a bench enjoying the ever refreshing Terere, the dogs roaming all the streets, vendors lining the streets with their traditional Paraguayan crafts and embroidery, a chipa vendor (chipaaa! chipaaa caliente!....chipa a mil!), demonstrators and defenders of freedom. Asuncion is so vibrant and full of life and there were a million little things I had to omit in my print.
Well, my print is in its second stage where I etched an aquatint (the tonal gradations) on the black plate. I still got more work to do on this plate since some of the dark greys and the blacks got a bit too dark for my taste. I tried out airbrushing an acrylic solution onto the plate for my aquatint and I'm very pleased with the result. We don't have a rosin box at the studio and I was never quite happy with the spray-paint aquatints. The airbrushed dot pattern is super fine and easy to apply evenly. I think I've found my perfect substitute for rosin aquatints.
Like Aregua, this print will be a double plate etching, meaning that I'm working on a second plate that will be printed in colour overlapping exactly with my black plate. That way I get some rich terracotta shades and a wide range of browns that will give this print more richness and life. The big white trees for example will, at the end, be full of reddish brown chivato blossoms and some of the buildings will be lightly pinkish brown. Well, I still got a lot of work ahead of me, but I hope to start printing some time next week.

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