I thought this might be a great opportunity to take you through a tour of what I do and how I do it. I have explained reduction printmaking so many times I just assume people understand. But it can be confusing if you don't really grasp the process. So I'm inviting you to watch as this print goes from the drawing table to the wall.
The first step is sketching out ideas for color, contrast and, most importantly, composition. This print is inspired by the main pond at Reinstein Woods. I will be participating at an art sale at a fundraiser for Reinstein Woods in November, and as we are avid park-goers, this seemed like an apropriate print to have ready for the show.
After a few sketches, I draw out the final drawing and rough out some colors. The print will be quite different than this painting.
I am doing something different with this print. I usually use a bare-wood block; I have been having some issues with ink not transfering evenly to the paper, and some other printmakers have suggested shellacking and sealing the block to help.
So, after finishing the painting, which I call a cartoon, I use tracing paper and trace the whole image. I then put the trace on the block and, using carbon paper, I transfer the image to the block.
I then started to shellac the wood, only to find that shellac is great for wiping carbon off of wood -- whoops! I retraced my tracing with pen, then shellacked the block.
This morning I sanded the block down to a glassy finish, and I hope to put the first color down tonight.