A Fancy Sandwich of Layers: A single felt blanket on the press bed for some cushion, one sheet of newsprint on top of the felt to protect from inky fingers, orange matboard & masking tape rails set to the height of the block, printmaking paper on the press bed in between the rails, inked block face down on the paper.
Black oil based relief ink (Daniel Smith) rolled out on a sheet of glass with a speedball brayer, and rolled onto the block. (I’ll be experimenting with Akua inks this summer, and will definitely report my discoveries.)
I used black marker and some watercolors to map the “dont cut here” sections. I usually seal the line work (Minwax Golden Pecan Wood Sealer, with a foam applicator). It smooths wood grain, reduces chipping while cutting, and facilitates wiping ink after proof printing to get back to the drawing if more carving is needed. Flexcut palm tools are my favorite carving knives.
This woodblock started with a small sketch doodled while making phone calls on the left (above). The sketch expanded on a 6×8 shina block I bought at McClain’s on the right.
In the last post, I offered a brand-spanking new set of 60 Prismacolor Nupastel sticks and a 9×12 pad of assorted color Mi Teintes pastel paper, based on who left comments on that post. Names were tossed into a hat last night, and shook vigorously like a good martini, and a single folded slip was drawn from the pile o’ names. Congratulations to Margo! (Applause, Cheers, Foot Stomps) [Note: I’m still cleaning my studio and I have more supplies to giveaway. Stay tuned!]
January 30 1847 (Russia) Jamie [James McNeil Whistler, at age 12] was taken ill with a rheumatic attack soon after this, and I have had my hands full, for he has suffered much with pain and weariness, but he is gradually convalescing, and today he was able to walk across the floor; he has been allowed to amuse himself with his pencil, while I read to him; he has not taken a dose of medicine during the attack, but great care is necessary in his diet.
February 27, 1847 Never shall I cease to record with deep gratitude dear Jamie’s unmurmuring submission these last six weeks. He still cannot wear jacket of trousers, as all the blistering still continues on his chest. What a blessing is such a contended temper as his, so grateful for every kindness, and rarely complains. He is now enjoying a huge volume of Hogarth’s engravings, so famous in the Gallery of the Artists. We put the immense book on the bed, and draw the great easy chair close up, so he can feast upon it without fatigue. He said, while so engaged yesterday, ‘Oh, how I wish I were well; I want so to show these engravings to my drawing-master; it is not everyone who has a chance of seeing Hogarth’s own engravings of his originals.’ and then added, in his own happy way, ‘and if I had not been ill, mother, perhaps no one would have thought of showing them to me.’ From the 1911 book James McNeill Whistler – by Elizabeth Robbins Pennell & Joseph Pennell