Today's postings

  1. [Baren 33025] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2) (Annie Bissett)
  2. [Baren 33026] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2) (Nancy McMahon-Cox)
  3. [Baren 33027] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2) (L Cass)
  4. [Baren 33028] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2) (Wanda Robertson)
  5. [Baren 33029] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 09:44:22 -0400
Subject: [Baren 33025] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2)
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Hi Alex,

I was waiting for someone smarter than me to give you feedback, but
nothing came through this morning so I'll put in my two cents...

It seems like you're doing all the right things, especially
experimenting and making adjustments as you go along. For me, lots of
practice has been key, along with close examination of each print as
it comes off the block. The samples you posted show distinct
improvement. Whether that's because of the new paper, the new
pigments, or your development as a printer I can't say!

I wanted to respond to a couple of your remarks:

1. Yes, the pigment dispersions are quite liquid. They're also quite
saturated, however, so just a couple of drops is enough to pigment
your block. I've never used a thicker pigment, so I'm not sure how
they behave, but I believe Akua makes a thickener additive if you
prefer thick ink. I went to visit the great (Baren member) Lynita
Shimizu a while back and she uses pigments that are much thicker than
the pigments I've been using. Her prints are better than mine, too,
but I can't say if that's because she uses thicker pigments or
because she learned moku hanga in Japan and has been doing it for
several decades. I suspect that it's the latter, and that she'd be
able to make a lovely print with just about any ink you give her.

2. About "mottling:" When I first started moku hanga I wanted pure
unblemished fields of color, like silkscreen, and I was sorely
disappointed with all the texture I was getting. But that's moku
hanga. You get texture - texture from the wood grain, texture from
the pigment and paste, texture from the paper. You can get a VERY
smooth impression with practice, but it will never be a solid field
like silkscreen. One of the fun parts is thinking of ways to use the
texture inherent in the medium. Your latest leaves look very smooth
to me.

Press on -- it only gets better!

Annie B
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Message 2
From: Nancy McMahon-Cox
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 09:01:35 -0500
Subject: [Baren 33026] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2)
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Hi Annie, Hi all,
Annie's response to Alex is really excellent. Practice is the big key
with moku hanga and printmaking in general. Good printmakers spend
their lives at it and get better as they go along. The other big key
is to accept the result for what it is, mottled, showing woodgrain or
whatever. Woodcut has its own language and it is not silk screen or
anything else. Letting the medium drive your expectations rather than
trying to make it produce what you imagine is the best way to go. I
think Annie is pretty smart.
-Ian Ox
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Message 3
From: L Cass
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 10:57:52 -0400
Subject: [Baren 33027] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2)
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I can't resist adding my thoughts on this - I only recently started
'doing muku hanga' -actually, combined with western method
and I'm delighted with some of the unplanned and
unexpected 'textures' I get -I am not after perfection and one must remember
that one's image, composition, 'drawing' perhaps are v important -
it's not just technique -dare I say?! it's interesting that you
mention silkscreen, Annie, because I've found that the very solidity
or smoothness possible with silkscreen can look
very dead. I know good artists can get good results with it but it's
a very unrelenting medium. Incidentally, printmakers
receiving my Golden Boars will throw up their hands in dismay -but
they are fun!
Louise C..
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Message 4
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 13:23:48 -0800
Subject: [Baren 33028] Re: Technical Advice Please (Round 2)
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Gosh, Alex, I would like to help - but sometimes it's hard to suggest
something without actually being there & seeing what is taking place.
One thing that struck me right away was the fact that you say "
> 2. I had more registration problems in the third series because I
> printed two bokashi (6-7 impressions) on the upper block consecutively,
> and it may have expanded more than when I let it dry in between.

Do you mean that you are printing these 2 bokashi on top of the last
ones 6 or 7 times? I don't think I have ever seen anyone print one
bokashi over another one. I think it would be extremely hard to do
that and have good results. The trick to bokashi (s) is to brush the
two pigments on the block with a bare mingling/touching in the center.
You have to use a separate brush for each color & be very careful not
to have too much mixing of pigments in the center. A lot of wiping of
the brushes helps to keep them from getting too gooey. (technical term

Plus, as far as the brush lines in the pigment are concerned - I think
there is an encyclopedia entry on
of David Bull showing how to get a smooth
field of color. Basically, you have to brush the pigment in both
directions several times & then draw the side of the brush very gently
over the pigment. "Like a whisper" Dave says.

As a suggestion, you might be able to gain better control of your
pigments and brushes by practicing on an un-carved block. This would
give you a larger area to practice on, without having to worry about
cuts, grooves, etc. This works especially well when trying to master
the bokashi.

Mottling? Are you working on wood block? Sometimes there are little
areas in woodblocks which will either absorb too much pigment or repel
the pigment. That could be the answer there. Especially if it is
occurring on every print.

I hope some of this helps a little. Basically, it is not difficult -
but it *is* hard to balance the pigment, brush, paper, & water at
first. I can see that you are determined & that will certainly help
you to succeed!

Best wishes,
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Message 5
From: Blog Manager
Date: 22 Mar 2007 03:55:33 -0000
Subject: [Baren 33029] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (32 sites checked, five minutes before midnight Eastern time)


Site Name: David Bull, Woodblock Printmaker

Item: Scrolls will ship tomorrow ...


Site Name: Mike Lyon's Moku Hanga

Author: Mike Lyon
Item: "Anthony", 83 x 45 inches, pen and ink drawing


Site Name: m.Lee Fine Art

Author: m.Lee
Item: Psycho buyer!


Site Name: The Itinerant Artist

Author: Diane Cutter
Item: 'Feathered Warrior', linocut, black oil-based ink ...


Site Name: Belinda Del Pesco Fine Art Blog

Author: Belinda Del Pesco
Item: Watercolor: Birds on my Counter

Author: Belinda Del Pesco
Item: Watercolor: Resting


[Baren] members: if you have a printmaking blog (or a website with a published ATOM feed), and wish it to be included in this daily checklist, please write to the Baren Blog Manager at:

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