One-point Lesson : Avoiding Brush Strokes

Lesson #14: Avoiding brush lines in the impression ...

(a 'conversation' between printer Keizaburo Matsuzaki and David Bull)

Mr. Keizaburo Matsuzaki was visiting my workroom one day, and gave me some pointers on printing. One of the things we discussed was how to avoid 'lines' from the brush showing up in the colour. I'll try and recreate part of the conversation as well as I can ...

As the scene opens, I'm sitting at my printing bench, trying yet another sample. All the previous tries have come out with visible lines ...

KM: Let's try it again, and this time after brushing out the pigment, try and make those final few strokes as 'light' as possible. Tip up the brush so that just the very edge of it comes into contact with the wood.

DB: Ok ... (Swish ... swish ... followed by those final brush strokes ...)

KM: No! No! I can hear those final strokes quite clearly. They are still too strong. You are going to end up with lines in the colour.

DB: (Tries again ...)

KM: I can still hear it! If you can hear the strokes, you're using too much pressure!

DB: (Tries again ...)

KM: There! I couldn't hear anything!

DB: Aha! I fooled you! I just pretended to make those final strokes; I don't think the brush actually touched the wood at all!

KM: Well finally you get the idea! Quick, put the paper on and make the impression.

DB: (Prints the impression, and then turns it over to show ... perfectly smooth colour.)

KM: (Smiles ...)

DB: ... ... ...


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