06 November 2019

Woodblock Wednesday - printing water with water

First task was to finish the edit of the cutting on the second and third layers - I like the look of the block now, but with inking, all the white will disappear -
Out came the coloured pencils, to try rubbing different combinations for the different layers -
 First round - yellow, green, light blue. Surprises lay ahead...

In class, 3 hours dedicated to printing, results were disappointing at first -
needing much re-inking of faint areas (with paper in situ)
I'd been using yellow on the first layer but it got mixed with the blue from the previous prints still being "active". I wanted a more yellowy shade and tried to remove the colour not by washing/scrubbling, but by printing without colour or nori - through previous printing, the block was already soaked with both. The water-only prints are on the left, after which I printed with yellow, but a little blue/green was still left in the brush -
Lesson: When changing colours, wash everything!

With the second layer, the green mixed from lemon yellow and cerulean was contaminated by the blue already on the block -
One of those prints was printed with the third layer, cerulean on the dark blue block, but it's too much of a contrast.

On getting home I was able to print for another hour and concentrated on the second block. These used water to get out the excess pigment -
Fresh pigment on the block, over the first layer printed in the morning -
My registration system is a bit of plywood larger than the block, and masking tape. The block lines up with the right side of the plywood and fits between the "kento corners". The paper is lined up with the bottom edge of the ply, and with the masking tape to the right of the block. It's a bit tricky, but mostly works. I have to remember to check that the block is still in exactly the same place on the ply before laying down the paper, and that the paper hasn't shifted in those few moments before applying the baren. Attention to detail!
The colour is more even, but the registration of the second block was half a millimetre too high.
The ply needs to be U-shaped and to fit the block exactly, and to be removed for inking. And chiselled kento, perhaps? Using several layers of masking tape has been working quite well so far.

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