Friday, 13 September 2013

Circles

This summer I had the opportunity to try cutting and printing Japanese wood block with my friend Jonathan (who makes very lovely prints indeed). Some circles...


Different to any print process I've used before, the wooden block is soaked with water and water-based ink is applied. Paper is laid over the top and pressure applied by hand with a baren. The ink is absorbed by the paper and this gives the resulting prints a vibrant quality which I love. I normally have such trouble with colour (with it looking murky or flat or clashing or just not how I want it) but on the thin Japanese paper the bright saturated colours look good to me. Although saying that...



A few weeks later I made some mono prints inspired by the previous circles. Paper stencils with grids of circles cut out. Two shades of grey because all the colours looked wrong. I'm interested in how the circles overlap and create new shapes as the ink builds up, the patterns left by the previous stencil. That's the beauty of the oil based inks to me, the transparency of a really thin layer, how the tone changes as the layers build up.

And I've been teaching George to draw circles. Round and round. He's getting it, less zigzag more curve (although zigzags are good too!) Mostly leads to ten verses of 'wheels on the bus' though... :)



2 comments:

Marianne Wille said...

Teaching George to draw circles ~ precious!

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

These look really interesting! I've always loved the look of wood block prints, but have never tried anything like that myself. How wonderful you're getting to try out some new artistic possibilities. (Actually, I guess both you and George are, by the sounds of it!)