This next printmaking project, Black Crow has taken me quite some time to fathom. I’ve often been confused by the reduction method of printmaking. For quite some time I couldn’t wrap my head around the process. How could one cut away sections of a block without jeopardizing the image as a whole? What portions of the design should you cut first? I know I’m not a dense person, however it was driving me mad for some time before I had an “aha” moment.
The Reduction Process
For those unaware of what the reduction method of printmaking is I’ll try and explain this to you. Starting with a linoleum or wood block you draw out your design on the block. At that point you have to know what colors you’d like to have on each element of the design. For the Black Crow I had decided to have white clouds, therefor the only color needed was the background of blue for the sky. As you see in the photo below I cut out the clouds which would remain white after adding blue ink to create the print.
The second layer was the design of the crow. I then cut away all the block until I had only the crow to print in black. The trick is to line up the block directly over the first printing. This is easily achieved by marking the block on the paper to re-aline for the next ink print.
Black Crow A Personal Challenge
Thinking about this process I’ve learned that for the most part, starting with the lighter color of the design first may be wise. Having more than three colors could become problematic. Adding additional color would certainly darken the background colors already laid down making it difficult to add a lighter portion of the design.