Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Moving right along to Valley of Fire II

Got my wood from McClain's today (http://www.imcclains.com/) and paper and other goodies from the Baren Mall (http://www.barenforum.org/) which motivated me to start my next print. I want to continue experimenting with smaller prints in moku-hanga.

Over the years I've toyed with the idea of transferring photos properly doctored in Photoshop to start my woodcuts, but I find that most of my "image making" happens when I cut, not when I sketch.
Here are my original reference photos  on the right of the block, some doctored photos at the top, and a pencil sketch on the block.
I generally let that "gel" for a few minutes to hours and then proceed with a permanent marker, strengthening the lines and forever committing the design to the wood. The character of the magic marker (Sharpie) also makes me simplify the design a little so as to leave some designing leeway for my trusty chisels.

Often I play with the reality of the reference photos, I liked the wild brush in the front plane, but later decided against it since I wanted a clear view from the "V" of the canyon edge into the valley below. Here is the design, ready for walnut ink and oil and sharp knives.

Carving tomorrow!

What do you know! How'd dat get on my work-bench? (I think I have a "printing gadgets" addiction...could someone please recommend a good eBay-sniping support group?)


  1. Love to see the process and the print looks as though it will awesome, as yours usually are. Why the walnut ink?

  2. Hey Dan, I use walnut ink to darken the block so I can see what I'm doing. As I carve the lighter wood is revealed and tells me exactly what I need to do. In the past I've used diluted sumi ink too but I got used to the warmth of the walnut ink. I dilute it as it is quite dark and I need to see my initial sketch. Works right through hanshita paper too for color blocks.