I’ve just completed an excellent two day workshop at Ardington School Of Crafts run by Laura Boswell. An introduction to Japanese woodblock printing. An art form I love but I have never tackled before.
I started with an image of pine trees falling into the sea on the end of Furzey Island in Poole Harbour. I photographed it last week and even did a sketch of it in charcoal whilst sitting cross legged on the roof of my boat.
Laura took us through the stages of breaking the design down into blocks which would build up the image. These are carved on both sides of the wood block and coloured using horse hair brushes, watercolour paint and rice paste.
The blocks are printed onto damp paper, using a baren to burnish the back. I produced several multicoloured images and a final, fairly rushed one just in blue, which is very traditional.
It’s a fascinating technique. These results aren’t that great, but they are a starting point. Hokusai, here I come…
I’ve started a series of drawing sessions with Susan Kester in Chalford. Just drawing what is in front of us, with guidance from her. I used charcoal to produce this plant, which is quite reasonable I think.
An interesting one day workshop combining these two unlikely media. I’m still unconvinced by water colour pencils. They are OK as pencils, but when water is applied I think the result just looks insipid. But going over it in biro does help. I like the effect of building up layer upon layer of crosshatching. This abstract based on pots is dirt off OK. I need to do more experimenting.
A good, new model tonight. He had the most wonderful roman nose. Caesar would have been proud of it. I experimented with various media. Red, black and white chalk, biro, charcoal on different papers. I really liked the biro, although I only had 15 minutes for it.
These are all the sketchbooks I have made since last summer. I had no idea it was so many. None are full but all have something in them. They are very satisfying to make. You can have just the size you want to cut a pocket, and just the paper you want. Even several different papers in the same book. I shall make more.
My wife had made some albums using an open backed spine bookbinding technique that I liked. It allows the book to open absolutely flat. I’ve made a sketchbook on the same format, using a variety of Japanese papers that I had. I’m not sure how well they will work in a sketchbook, but only trying will tell. I’ve used two lino prints as cover papers. I’m pleased with the result, but yet to try it out.
I’m getting out of the habit of drawing, so it’s good to get going again. This girl stood in at the last moment. The booked model cancelled during the day and the tutor had to phone round in desperation to find a new model. He paid her extra and she deserved it. She was excellent.