I've finally stopped worrying about whether or not I'm doing moku hanga "right" and I've begun just experimenting. I may have gone too far, but I got the idea that I wanted to make some light "knots" in the background of this print. I wanted the lines to be kind of rough and scratchy, so I tried a nail, then a screw driver to draw with, but the lines weren't deep enough to print so I ended up carving with a gouge:
And then I printed this block with a gray-green:
I didn't like it. It looked pretty muddy. Too bad; what's done is done. So I went ahead and printed the birds, which I had carved on a separate block:
I was hoping that this would be the end of the print, but I'm not happy with it. Not enough contrast between the background and the birds. I'm going to have to pause and live with it for a day or two, try to figure out how to fix it.
Or maybe start over!