Monday, July 25, 2011

Smoking Figure part 25

The weather finally started to cool down today. Not to say that it was actually cool- still in the mid 80's most of the day. Warm enough to sweat, but not so much that it drips on everything I'm doing, which means I could work.

One thing that I had thought about since the last time I was in the Studio was how to cut the bricks. My most common way of cutting values into woodcuts is sections of parallel vertical stripes, with the frequency and spacing determining the value. I've made use of this technique in the parts of the figure that I've already cut. My feeling is that if I use the same striping in the bricks they won't separate enough from the figure. When I've done other large format black and white woodcuts in the past, I usually mix in some other ways of achieving grays- to help with space, clarity, etc. For the bricks I think something more like a speckled pattern makes more sense. So before doing anything, I chose a piece of the block that was destined to be cut away, and tried making such a pattern- mostly a middle gray with parts lighter and darker (the effect of chips and other imperfections in observed bricks). I inked it with a little water based black and pulled a quick proof. Above are the section of block and the resulting print. I think that should work.

With that settled, I continued cutting out the figure. First, I cut out the little piece I had just inked, then continued to cut the white parts of the rest of that arm (left side), then did the same with the other arm. Then I went back and cut the gray tones. The one thing that I skipped for now was the area with the rose tattoo, because I may want to make a few slight adjustments before I cut it, but I did cut the Chinese characters tattoo on the other arm. The state of the block at the end of the two hour session is shown below.

Next time I'll either finish that rose tattoo, or start on her blouse, or maybe both. I'd like to get the whole figure finished before next week's critique group.


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