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Recollected Patterns – Making the Colour Giclée Prints

October 22, 2012

I really enjoy the research and development phase of projects and I had a ball creating the limited edition colour giclée prints, which feature in my exhibition Recollected Patterns: The botany of Walter Hill.

I decided for the show to take only one of the black & white giclée print designs from the original Collected Patterns series – the Bromeliad – and explore it in colour. I wanted to show the versatility of this design translated into multiple colourways and I also wanted to shift the focus slightly from the motif to the colour palette. As the colour giclée prints are hung together and on a wall adjacent to the original black & white giclées in the gallery, it is easy to see the connection between the works and the progression through to colour.

For all my giclée prints, I work with the Pantone colour matching system as a starting point when making my colour choices. Based on my selected Pantone colours, I arrange a colour print test on the archival paper used for the final prints. I do this by first creating my own CMYK swatch card. I then review the swatch card test print and recolour my designs as required. My expert printer at Brisbane Digital Images, Martin Barry, then prints a section of the artwork file for final review (pictured). Finally, it’s either a matter of preceding to print or making small changes to test again. I find this process highly interesting as even though I know the colours I hope to achieve with the Pantones, I am always surprised at the shift in colour when printed on the Hahnemüle cotton rag paper. This amazing paper has a way of absorbing light, making the prints appear velvety, while also reflecting light, giving the colours intense hues.

The colours chosen for these prints were based on the colours for summer 2012/2013 – spicy, fruity colours including tangerine, watermelon, mint, aquatic blue and yellow. This colour selection is reflected in the wallpaper and textiles also created for the show and I talked a little about colour matching between different mediums in my post Coordinating Prints.

I’m excited that these limited edition colour giclée prints are now available in the Collectibles store, along with the original prints in black & white.

My artist floor talk is on tomorrow at the Redland Art Gallery, Capalaba and I’d love you to come. More details about the exhibition can be found here, and the floor talk, here.

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