Sunday, March 1, 2015

Getting a Sense of the Print

Red-breasted and Common Mergansers with Bufflehead at Flat Rock Dam. Early Proof of Multi-block Woodcut by Ken Januski.

Yesterday I said that I wasn't sure whether or not I'd add color to this woodblock. But after proofing more of the black block today I felt that I had to at least experiment with color. So I flipped the block over, transferred the black block to it and did some minimal carving. I then proofed one color, a blue-green which is much bluer I think than I'll eventually use. A little bit later I printed the black block on top of it.

That's what you see above, with a cockeyed photo, on cheap copier paper. I wouldn't use it to try to enter a competition but that's not my purpose. That is to explore what the print might actually LOOK like. I know a lot of contemporary artists use the computer to see what something might look like, experimenting with colors, shapes, etc. But I prefer to work with the actual materials, to take a chance and live with the consequences.

This is always the most exciting part of printing. Until then I have something that has started to look like a print but that is also missing essential ingredients, like color. Only printing will show how the colors, and shapes, work together. I imagine that there is still a long way to go here. But now I can actually make, then test, some of my plans for the print.

I'm still not positive that I'll make this a color print. It may go wrong somewhere along the line and I'll try to salvage just the black block. But I think it's very unlikely that will happen. Most likely this will be a two-block, and 4-5 color woodcut.

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