Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reduction Block Printing

I needed an idea for a new work, and soon. As I often do when I am searching for the next thing to work on, I flipped through my sketchbook. Now, I won't say I draw in my book every day or even every month, but I do get faithful with it every so often. As I turned pages, it fell open to the place where I had scribbled this idea several months ago for feet and/or legs sticking out from under a beach umbrella.

My scribblings reminded me that I had wanted to explore this idea, and I decided right then to do a reduction block print. I got out my tracing paper to refine the sketch that would be transfered to the actual block. I used my favorite umbrella from the three I had sketched, and then worked on legs, feet and shadows. I have discovered about myself that I love to work small, sometimes, very small. What you see to the right is the drawing when I was through making adjustments, ready to be transfered to the 3 x 3 block I had cut.

Now, you are probably wondering, "What is a 'reduction block print' when it's at home?" Here's the best way I know how to explain it to you, and then I'll quit to talk more about it in my next post: A reduction block creates a print using two or three or four, or more colors. The process is called "reduction" because each time you print a new color, you "reduce" or cut away more of the block first.

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