Wednesday, February 13, 2013

evolution of a reductive print




in an attempt to up the difficulty level with my advanced students, i am introducing reductive printing.  with basic block printing, you carve a design, ink it, and print it.  as long as your plate stays in good shape, you can use it over and over.  you can see some of our basic block prints and my tutorial on how to do it here. 

with reductive block printing, you print multiple times on the same print, each time reducing the image a little more by carving.  because you are physically changing the plate in between prints, it is important to do multiple prints at each stage so you end up with a series.  obviously, once you carve more into a plate, you cannot back up to an earlier stage.  usually, you change ink colors with each printing as well.  if you do not want the ink colors to mix, it is important to let each print dry completely before you print again on top.  and, with any kind of printing, remember that the image will print in reverse, so plan accordingly.

i created a couple of examples to show my students, so i thought i'd share them with you too.  i started with a basic line drawing carved into a styrofoam printing plate.  my carving tool of choice...a dull pencil, as pictured below!


i inked that plate with white and printed on blue paper...


then i carved into the same plate a second time and got this...


which i inked and printed this time with red to give me this...


then i carved the plate a third and final time, giving me this...


which i inked and printed with yellow.  voila...


my second example is a quick self portrait.  the plate evolved like this...


and the print like this. 


so there you have it...my recent adventure in reductive printing.  i like it.  it's different.  it's fun.  it's challenging.  a good combination!

 this week, here's to the challenge!

-julia

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