13 August 2005
Pigments for Moku Hanga
Moku hanga by definition is woodblock printing with water-based pigments. The pigments I'm using are pigment dispersions, that is, pure pigments suspended in water, from Guerra Paint & Pigments in NYC. I bought a small palette of just 8 basic colors, including black and white, to start with. So far I've been able to mix any color I want from these 8 colors. These dispersions are very pure and intense colors so a little bit goes a long way. Because they're watercolors they're also quite transparent. Many moku hanga printers who use pigment dipersions also add gum arabic as a binder to make the paint more viscous. I haven't tried that yet; I like just using water to adjust the intensity of the colors and using rice paste on the block to control smoothness.
I've had too much illustration work on my desk to get started printing "The Power of Tea" yet. But my nice soft paper is in the fridge and today I mixed some colors and planned out the order of printing. It looks like I'll be pulling at least 11 impressions from 8 blocks.