Multi-colour woodblock print

My original drawing needed to be simplified.
originalpalm_cabbagetree_drawing2013 copyIt turned into this:

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and then this:

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I still couldn’t understand how it was going to get from a black and white drawing into a three colour woodcut.  The wonderful Annie Smits Sandano introduced us to a tracing paper technique to develop each colour block.

2014-04-13 14.48.20 2014-04-13 14.48.14

I sort of got it!  I decided to start cutting away anyhow, and see what happened.

Here are the three plates I produced:

2014-04-13 14.47.45The first plate I printed was yellow:
2014-04-21 12.39.46Then I printed the green on top of it:

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I wasn’t so happy with this.  Obviously, the registration is completely off, which I had done deliberately.  What I didn’t like is that the image felt ‘bitsy’ to me.  It doesn’t have a flow for your eye to follow.

I decided to forge on with the blue plate and see what happened. The blue plate turned out quite different. The first time I printed the blue plate on its own:

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I felt this image was much stronger, and flowed better. I think the top aenemone flowers and their stems worked well.  Over the past few years, I’ve thought a lot about how to best simplify aenemone shapes, and bark.  Palm leaves, I’ve thought about less, and I think it shows here.  I don’t have a clear way to symbolise them.

I decided that the three colours on top of each other would just result in a horrible mishmash, so I tried the blue straight on top of the bottom, yellow layer:

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This one was my favourite.  I really like the yellow shining through the white, and the strength of the blue image, even in the ghost.



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