Twenty Experiments For The Artist
Not all of us are experimenters - some of us are timid, preferring the safe haven of established procedures to the wild seas of new experience. And that is about as much colourful imagery from me as you can stand.
We're selling paper. Ilford paper for inkjet printers. Heaven knows we sell a lot of it, because the stuff we sell is standard paper that works pretty much every time.
Oh, you can still fail - you can have horrible uncontrolled images in your computer and send them to your printer in a horrible uncontrolled way and get hideous results. But that is a matter of morality and screen calibration - we sell calibrators and there are people who can teach you morality. Ilford just provides good paper.
The types we sell most of are their Galerie Smooth Pearl and Smooth Gloss. Get within a coo-ee of the right colour management and use fresh ink and you'll never be disappointed in the results. That's a given.
But if you wish to try your eye, luck, and ink on a bit more artistic result, you may want to try different surfaces and consistencies in the paper - specifically you may want to print on matt paper with dedicated black ink. Some images become perfect in this way, but you might need to try it out in several ways before settling on the best choice for you. Here's where Ilford help - they sell a test-pack for fine-art printing and you can see in A4 size what your printing chain is capable of.
The pack has 20 sheets - 5 each of the following:
Galerie Cotton Artist Textured
Galerie Gold Fibre Gloss
Galerie Textured Cotton Rag
Galerie Smooth Cotton Rag
They are all 310 gsm and vary in resolution. Obviously the Gold Fibre Gloss has the finest resolution as it is intended to run with gloss ink - the others are matt. You can download printing profiles for these easily from the instruction sheet packed with the paper.
5 sheets is enough to dabble a couple of times with tones and brightness and still leave enough paper to produce a series of prints that can be compared one with the other. Every printer eventually has a mental image of what they wish to achieve and this is a good way to show yourself the possibilities on your actual machine. It might not be fine art, but it can be helpful art.