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Lately, I've been trying to master the relationship between dot patterns and the finite color value options of vintage four-color process. Typically there were only three basic values for cyan, magenta, and yellow: 100%, 50%, and 25%, which were combined to create the optical illusion of 45-65 colors. (70% was also used sometimes.) These values account for the way a constituent color may appear as large or small dots or as what looks like a solid color with dots knocked out of it.

When you blow up process printing, you eliminate nearly all of the intended colors. There is no illusion of anything anymore, and no human intention behind what you're seeing. It's just the rudimentary building blocks of an inexpensive mechanical printing process, thrown into accidental relationships at the microscopic level. 

The spatial relationships among dots become infinitely varied, due to differences in the alignment of the individual printing plates' tiny patterns. Some alignments are stable, while others seem to vibrate. True, blended colors are created where dots overlap, while the constituent colors remain where there is no overlap. Small errors in the color separation become spectacular boundaries between larger spaces. I find the results to be quite delicious. 

5 responses
I love the blog. It truly is remarkable. Now you have taken the subject to another level. It's almost macro-science. Awesome. I use a lot of the post as excellent wallpapers for my computer. Now I've thought about using them as textures for photoshop projects. Your blog just has so many functions.
Thank you, Josué. I love the idea that my blog has functions.

This topic fascinates me as well. I have made some linoleum block prints where I've played around with the Ben Day look. I'd also like to do some watercolor and acrylics. If you would like to see my work , visit

If you would like to corresond, contact me by email. I could not find your email address. I have a couple specific questions.

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