Your First Print : Support Forum

My world after YFP
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Author:  Julio Rodriguez [ Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:33 am ]
Post subject:  My world after YFP

I been taking a stab at woodblock printmaking for a number of years now but mostly at the amateur/weekend-hobbyist level and certainly not making enough prints to show any great deal of improvement in my technique over all that time. While I do have a considerable collection of very nice prints both traditional and contemporary (those really come in handy for reference !) and have acquired quite a bit of knowledge about the David says: "Those that, Those that can't...". My goal after YFP is to improve my technique so that I can create better prints; prints that can be considered "good" prints by myself as well as others.

After getting David's pdf download a few weeks back and quickly devouring the YFP e-book from start to finish I made myself a promise to stop cutting corners, to stop using inferior papers, to pay more attention to all those little details that eventually either make or break a print run, etc, etc. More than anything my e-book "conversations" with David (if I can call then that !) have re-awaken my passion for this so rewarding "pasttime".

The photos I am sharing here are my first attempts at a print AFTER reading YFP. It is by no means my first print in this style but certainly I went about it with a renewed enthusiasm thanks to YFP. This particular image ("White Heron in Snow") does not have a traditional keyblock so the first photo shows the background color block with a nice wood grain pattern. I was happy with the results but made a note that perhaps the hosho paper was holding a bit too much water and the impression could have been "crispier". Love the way the white areas (not flatten by the baren) show off a light embossing.


This second photo shows proofing for the next impression which are gradations (bokashi) at both the top and bottom areas of the print. It uses the same background block as for the first impression. On the print at the very left of the photo the gradation on the top of the image is a bit light and runs in a harsh 45 degree angle while on the print at the opposite end the gradation has taken more of a "halo" appearance.


Eventually I compromised somewhere near the middle. I will post some images of the final print on my next post.
Thank you for checking out my work and please feel free to comment or make any suggestions as you see fit.


Author:  David Bull [ Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My world after YFP

Julio, thanks for posting this ... I was hoping that people wouldn't be too embarrassed about showing their prints ... nice to have you joining the party! (And nice to hear about the book sparking such enthusiasm ...)

I have to be really curious about these pictures though. In the bottom picture, we see your block locked into place on the bed of - is it a Vandercook? Are you just using that as your workbench, or are you printing these with the press?

A couple of points come to mind ...
- on the bed of the workplace, just above the block, we see the spatters where the vermillion pigment has come flying off the brush as you do the rubbing. No problem there; my own bench is layered with many years' worth of such spatters. But mixed in with those spatters there seem to be quite a few lumps and chunks of dry pigment, making me think that perhaps you haven't ground/mixed it smoothly enough. And the printed image looks a bit 'grainy' in places. Considering that this impression has so much woodgrain, I guess you aren't really intending for it to be perfectly smooth, but I think a smoother pigment in your bowl might help the result ...
- in the series of impressions from left to right, as they get deeper, there is also an increase in the amount of 'tamari' - extra pigment at the edges of the cut areas, and some dark blots where the pigment is building up in the narrow carved areas. After you do the main strong brushing out, make sure you finish off with some very delicate strokes, to try and clear this off. It's the same technique that we use to try and avoid brush strokes, and I myself frequently have to remind myself of this little conversation.

Author:  Julio Rodriguez [ Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My world after YFP

Thanks Dave, you are absolutely right about the need to do a better job at grinding the pigments...somehow I had little chunks of powder mixed in my bowl and that created a bit of a mess.

Here is a short video clip that describes my usual printing setup and a try at proofing the background impression for the image from the previous post. Here the block was quite dry and I was having a hard time getting the wood grain to show...maybe too much pigment ?

Please feel free to comment and/or recommend improvements....

Author:  David Bull [ Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My world after YFP

Hey, great little videos! You should be getting ready to produce your own book on this stuff!

And it looks to be just as chilly in your garage as it is in my workshop!

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