Saturday, November 9, 2013

Piping Plover Woodcut Continued

Piping Plover at 'The Meadows'. Multi-block woodcut proof by Ken Januski.

So far so good. I've kept this simple. This is still a proof on copier paper but I have printed the ochre and blue-gray colors on good Rives Lightweight paper as part of an edition. Since the black of the first block will probably be the last block printed I keep testing it on proofs to see what it might look like and give me some idea as to what to do next.

I do still need an orange for bills and legs. Other than that it's really a question of keeping it simple or trying to get subtle with added colors, or even a new block, in the background.

By the way the Japanese method of woodcut, from what I can tell from my uneducated background, is to carve outlines and then print color within that. The Western European way, and the way I first tried, dispenses with outline and just carves and gouges to get the subject down. This is a vast oversimplification from someone who's pretty new to printmaking.

Nonetheless this is probably the most linear work I've done so far in the sense of carving out just the outlines of the subject on a separate block. There is something appealing about that though also the danger of looking too much like a cartoon or stained glass window, at least in my humble and personal opinion.

So it's odd for me to be working this way. But I do like having the solid outlines of the main subject there to anchor and pull together the entire print. Because it's so unusual for me I am tempted to just keep this simple and not start getting too subtle and finicky with the background. I might faint if I ever finish a simple, uncomplicated print. Time will tell..............

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