Last weekend, I took a 2-day workshop at the NH Institute of Art on White Line Printmaking. Our instructor showed us a book on the prints of Blanche Lazell for inspiration. She was well-known for her work using this technique.
An example of Blanche Lazell's work
We started off carving small blocks for practice (mine was 3" x 4"). I drew an image of double barn that my husband had photographed many years ago in northern Maine. To cut the lines, you need to make a v-shaped groove using a sharp woodcutting knife or a utility knife. You can also use a small
v-shaped wood carving tool. It's not an easy process as you have to deal with the wood grain. I found straight lines were a lot easier than curved ones. The blocks we used are called Shina Plywood, from McClain's Printmaking Supplies.
Here is the big block (8" x 10")
To make a print, the paper is attached to the block with tape so the registration will be accurate each time one adds a new color. We used watercolor paints, and for the big one, I used Rives Lightweight paper. Each color is painted on the block, then the paper is flipped over and rubbed on the back with a spoon or one's hands.
Each print is a monoprint when using this technique. I enjoyed learning about this process, and would like to experiment with other materials. You can do very simple one's with styrofoam sheets, and a pencil to push down the lines.
As usual, Wiley is hanging out while I'm trying to get work done!
I am an art teacher who loves to draw and paint, as well as illustrate for children. I also enjoy printmaking---especially block prints. Whatever I do as an artist, I have to remind myself---no pressure---it all starts by just putting pencil to paper.