Cardboard – the most common and affordable material, the cheapest and most convenient for work. There are many different types of cardboard with various properties. The best is Bristol, made from the best varieties of white paper. A good cardboard is prepared from waste paper, hemp is gray or black. The most loose cardboard is made from straw and has a yellowish color. There are many different grades of this material with different properties and all of it is suitable for engraving. Cardboard thickness must be at least 2 mm. For engraving, it is best to use cardboard 5 mm thick, very durable with a smooth surface. Consider two types of printing on cardboard: letterpress and intaglio.
For letterpress printing, cardboard is coated with water-based paint. This allows you to enhance the tone of black paint. A drawing of a conceived composition can be directly drawn on cardboard with a soft pencil, ink, watercolor black paint. You can translate the prepared drawing in a mirror form using black carbon paper, or you can easily transfer the drawing with a soft pencil from paper to cardboard with lightly grated wax and rub it with a bone. The material and technique of engraving on cardboard provide ample opportunities for solving artistic problems. On the print you can get soft black drawing strokes and spots and a gray tone. Tools for engraving on cardboard – trihedral, diamond-shaped, round and obliquely cut needles, a variety of knives. You can use a medical scalpel and etching iron. If the obliquely cut needle is rotated during operation, we obtain smooth transitions from a thin stroke to a wide one. When the trihedral needle is tilted to the right, a stroke can be engraved with one side being clear and the other softened. Textures of different saturations can be obtained by working with a knife or a scalpel, obliquely cutting or tearing off the top layer of cardboard at different depths. To reduce the clarity of strokes, an etching iron can be used. Tools need to be sharpened well and kept at an angle of 35-45 degrees in the direction of its movement during engraving. Apply and punching cardboard with sandpaper of various grain sizes. The emery skin is placed on the right places and punched with a hammer or rolled under pressure on an etching machine.
To fully explore the possibilities of carving on cardboard, you need to use a variety of tools to perform many tests. To make the form more resistant, we cover the engraved board with a nitro-varnish brush or swab, avoiding drips and drops. The printing plate is quickly clogged with ink and the rest of the ink is washed off with gasoline or acetone. This makes it possible to increase circulation. Before applying the paint, lightly wipe the board with drying oil. Ink is best rolled with a soft roller or rubber. Excess paint from cardboard is removed by covering it with an old newspaper and wiping it on top with your hand. The form is covered with slightly glued moistened paper, and then with a thick material or a layer of soft paper, and under pressure on the etching machine, the pattern changes to paper. You can print the print using flat-printing gilding machines or a bookbinding press, and small sizes can be done manually. With non-primed cardboard, printing is done on dry paper, and wet paper will adhere to it and destroy. In cardboard engraving, a lot depends on ink rolling when printing. After some experiments, you can get beautiful engravings, with a special softness of lines and a peculiar texture.
Primed cardboard with BF-2 glue or varnish is used for intaglio printing. When engraving on cardboard, we use well-sharpened trihedral, round needles and knives. Sagged lines are filled with paint using a bristle brush or pieces of thick cardboard. Excess paint is removed from the surface of the cardboard form using a rough rag or pieces of cardboard and newsprint. According to the artist’s intention, when wiping, they leave a light general tone that contributes to the integrity of the print. The engraving on the cardboard can be corrected by applying new touches and weakening the old ones with the help of a smoothing and varnishing. To obtain a high-quality print, printing is done on wet paper so that it does not stick to the varnish and the ink is well removed. In addition to black engraving, you can also get color by printing several colors from one board. Various colors of paint are rubbed into strokes with a brush, and paint is carefully removed from the surface of future light spots with a rag, then printed. Color engraving on cardboard is made in several forms, each for a new color, then the prints will be different and original. Color printing is rich in picturesque possibilities and interesting color solutions. A wet impression just removed from the machine when drying dries quickly, so the resulting prints for drying are glued onto a plywood plate for drying. Glue is smeared around the perimeter of the print with a strip of 1 cm wide. After trimming, a clean, even impression is obtained. To prevent prints from warping, they should be easily wiped with a sponge in the following composition: 10 parts of alcohol, 1 part of glycerin and 1 part of formalin