Collagraph: Breakfast Alarm

Breakfast Alarm 7×7 Collagraph with colored pencil on Arches paper

How do you make a Collagraph?

This collagraph (process shots begin at the bottom) was created with scrap mat board (also known as mount board in England and passe-partout in Europe). The reverse side of the mat is smooth, with no “tooth” in the surface, so once it is sealed with a gloss, it’s ideal for clearing ink when you want light areas on your print. For full creative control, you can add texture to hold ink, and create dark, rich passages by applying carborundum – also known as sand-paper grit.

Control Darks and Lights

Carborundum comes in a variety of granule sizes, and in this print, I’m using #120. The mat board was incised with shallow grooves carved from the surface with a blade, and peeled away to leave recessed troughs to hold ink. The entire plate (the mat board) is sealed with liquitex gloss medium and varnish. You can see the incised cuts I’ve carved into the mat in the folds of the blanket and sheet draped over the figure above.

After the ink dried, I added colored pencil
Pulling the print after rolling it against the inked plate on my Takach etching press
Applying Akua Intaglio Ink to the plate a la poupee’
Adhering #120 carborundum grit into the receded areas I’ve cut away from the plate
Carving and removing the upper layer of (reverse side) mat board where I want ink to settle
One of the models, photo-bombing my process shot in the studio.
The other model for this piece. He also assists with Art Shipping, as you can see.

Collagraph Tutorials

If you’re interested in making a mat board collagraph, the simplest approach to begin would be a basic line-style collagraph.  Visit my youtube channel and have a look at the tutorials I’ve posted. There is a playlist of collagraph video demonstrations posted there, and under each video window, you’ll find a list of all the supplies used, with links to online resources to buy them. If you make a collagraph, don’t be shy to leave any questions you have here, or in the comment section under the videos. Also, share links to the places where you’re posting the results of your experiments so we can cheer you on. On your mark, get set, GO! Happy printing!

Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you in the next post!


Art Quote

King George VI was looking through a set of newly completed drawings of Windsor Castle commissioned by the Queen from John Piper (1903-1992). The King had volunteered to receive her visitors that morning as well as his own when a sudden cold obliged her to cancel engagements.  Piper sat silent. Etiquette required that he should say nothing before His Majesty spoke. The King, no connoisseur,  quite clearly fund it extremely difficult to shape any suitable comment on these challengingly dramatic, dark visions in a modernist idiom of the Round Tower and other familiar landmarks. The silence grew tense, almost painful. The King spoke at last….. “You had darned bad weather!”
Noel Barber ~ Conversations with Painters

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5 Responses to Collagraph: Breakfast Alarm

  1. Belinda Del Pesco March 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    @sherry – thanks, I’m glad you like it. 🙂

  2. Sherry Schmidt February 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    Love this piece! What a neat image~

  3. Belinda Del Pesco February 22, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    @Mary – thanks for stopping by. I have, in the past – lived with & loved & stepped over 6 rescued animals (2 greyhounds and 4 cats). It’s a Good Thing. 🙂

  4. Mary Sheehan Winn February 22, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    thanks for sharing the process, Belinda. A beautiful piece for a great cause.


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