10 September 2005

Finest Lines Yet

Here are the remaining two blocks for the "Heaven On Earth" print.

Block 4 will be the flesh tones. I'll print a fairly light color, then cut away the tops of the woman's legs and print a slightly darker color just on the legs to add some depth. Additional shadows on the legs will be created by overprinting the flesh color onto some of the light purple from Block 2.

I saved the carving of this block for a time when I was feeling especially rested and relaxed, because the lines in the woman's face are very fine lines for plywood. These are the finest lines I've attempted so far, and I'm delighted with how they turned out. (Of course, I haven't test printed them yet...) This block will print in black. On the left side of this block, around the kento marks, you can see that I added some mineral oil to make the paper more transparent.

The next step is to remove all the hanshita paper from all the blocks. I do this with water and an old toothbrush. I used to use water and my fingernail, but a fingernail can mar the printing surface of the wood.


Cin said...

I never realized that you used the same block for two colors by cutting away parts after the first is printed. So that means a set number of editions must be established at the beginning? and are you able to do a proof just with inking the part you want?

Annie B said...

Hi Cin! A print made by successively cutting portions and printing them is called a reduction print. I'm doing this block that way because I'm being lazy and cheap; I don't want to cut a whole block just for that little piece of light ink. But you're right, when you work with the reduction method you have to establish your edition beforehand, because once you re-cut the block you can't go back. And proofing is also impossible. What you can do is factor a few "proofs" into your edition, so you can at least proof each block before you print all of them.

Printmaker Maria Arango has an explanation of reduction printmaking on her website