12 July 2005

Bokashi - Gradation Printing

As Tom Kristensen suggested doing in a comment a few days ago, I wanted to try adding some heavier color along the bottom of this print. This type of inking is called bokashi. The result you see here looks a little heavier than this novice intended, but the basic method is to lay down some paste and/or water where the "clear" edge of the fade will be, put some ink at the darkest end of the gradation, and wipe the maru bake (inking brush) back and forth to mix the two as desired. Alternately, you can put paste at one end of the brush and ink at the other end and apply it to the block.

For further explanation and instructions, read this entry by printmaker David Bull in the Baren Encyclopedia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,

Number 1 bokashi! I wish I kept mine. You will go on to get a more even fade than I see here. Perhaps I should describe the "easy" technique in more detail.
1. Take a clean dry maru bake brush wide enough to do your bokashi
2. With your hakobi brush put a generous dab of paste on the block
3. Work the paste back and forth so, there is an even thin slick
4. Take another hakobi ink brush and place a drop of ink at the bottom edge of your paste slick.
5. again work the maru bake brush back and forth.
7. You should be able to see the ink spread across the slick
6. Print. Decide if you like what you see. It is better to use too little ink than too much - you can always add intensity by repeating the process.
Thing to look out for;
1. Too much water in the ink will give goma-zuri
2. Always rest your brush the same way. I put mine bristles down into an empty tub, to keep it moist. I also have a bit of tape on the side so it never gets reversed by mistake.
3. If you wash the brush out be sure to have it almost dry before you re-use it.
4. Like all printing, the bokashi will improve after a couple of prints. Let the block and brush settle in before you change anything.
Have fun and press on...