Sunday, March 6, 2022


Backside of the Wasatch

6" x 4"

Mixed media

I’m using art muscles I haven’t used for a while; I’m revisiting woodcuts and experimenting with color.

Relief prints are a different animal and there are a few hills to climb on the return to this medium. But they are fun—and part of that fun is the unpredictability because of all the variables between the idea and completion.

When working in black and white, you have to think differently about how you will render your subject. What will be black, what will be white, and what’s in between? Color, is another, entirely different approach.

Rather than approach things in a fashion to get my woodcut legs under me again, I jumped right in. For my first attempt, the drawing was too complicated. I was excited go right to color, but I didn’t have my head in the woodcut game yet.

Aside from the part where you carve the image into wood (and not cut out the wrong spot), there is the challenge of inking the block with the right amount of ink and finding the right paper dampness that will give you a good print. I had several blobby messes and I’m still working it out.

I was able to salvage one of the prints by going over it with colored pencil. That's the image at the top.

After the first catastrophe, I threw my enthusiasm in reverse and decided to focus on a simpler image first printed in black only. I think it came out pretty well…

Then, I started experimenting with color again, and as with my first effort, I attempted to ink portions of the block with different colors. This is not particularly easy with a 4” x 6” image. Again, this resulted in several messes and I determined I needed to take another. However, I thought one of the results was kind of interesting even if the colors were miss-registered.

Next, I’m trying what is known as an extractive method, where in the end, the wood block is destroyed as you cut away the sections you no longer wish to print. We'll see how that goes...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So fun! Thanks for letting us watch the process.