Reply To: Tips for Gyotaku printing and Cyanotypes

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Hi all!

I just wanted to post some of the results and check back on some of the tips I used and how they worked out!
The rollers you recommended Lisa worked like a dream, as did the delivery from Handprinted, really cool and affordable stuff!

I took all of Ling’s advice on paper, which really saved some time and stress. I did, however, try to use a foam roller to ink the fish instead of brushing it in…It was quite hard! It stripped the fish from quite a few if not all its scales!
On top of that, plastic bags will work the absolute best as a medium with rounded shapes like the fish, but tissue paper also makes beautiful prints. The sturdier paper was incredibly hard to print with because I could not ‘see’ where I had applied pressure and where I still had to go over. It meant I was blindly printing for the most part with paper with higher gsm.

I did find it a bit challenging to print the fish with the water-based ink because:

a. you actually need A LOT more ink than you’d think (thank god for the oil extender) are surprisingly wet things, even if you pat dry, so the ink tended to slip off its surface
c. if the paper was too moist, the ink would smudge rather than sit on top

Regardless, I am quite happy with the water-based ink despite these challenges, It is a real treat to not have to clean with solvents!

Thanks a lot for all the help guys, I am so happy to have been able to try this out at home!