We found a mokuhan-ga (woodblock printmaking) artist who teaches the traditional methods right in her Osaka studio, and I studied with her for two months this past spring.
The techniques she taught me enabled me to complete my Heavy Skies print series, which is currently hanging at Kafka’s in Vancouver.
Haruka-sensei applies paint to the block. The sketch and a test print are in the foreground. I’m using Day 21: Heavy Sky 12 from Thirty Days Project, November 2012.
Click through for more process images and the final result.
One method she taught me is called horisusumi (彫進み), which means “progressive carving”. Only one plate is used and it is increasingly carved away after each print run. The image builds up on the paper as the plate gradually disappears. Here, I am preparing for the second colour which will be darker and will cover up the first colour except where I have carved away the areas I want to keep.
I used Day 18: Heavy Sky 11 as a simple experiment in how to apply gradients and how to control values with different kinds of carving.