Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kimono--Done but not finished

I set a June 1 deadline for getting my contribution to the "Inspired by Japan" benefit portfolio printed and ready for mailing. I have some other big June commitments and know if it doesn't get done by then it won't be finished in time.

Consequently, I've been printing rather frantically. I got a lot done yesterday, and this morning, awoke to find it grey and foggy outside--perfect printing weather--so I got up early and started in again. By Noon I had the printing done except for some quick little touches: the wooden bar holding out the arms was pink--needed to be overprinted to brown and the little seal at the bottom was blotchy and had a light glaze of quinacridine coral added.

So, I think it's "done".
4 blocks, about 6 colors and 9-10 impressions.
Printed on Echizen Kozo natural washi.

The only nagging problem is it still looks and feels
"unfinished". I had liked my other color proof; the darker orange/grey background did make the kimono shape float and while a bit more drab was more striking due to the contrast. I chose the green instead as more jewel-like and I liked the connotation of the glowing green background. I had planned and ditched a block that would have had the subtle shadows and creases of the silk kimono as being unnecessary and too busy.

I'll pull out the 31 I need for the exchange and from the remaining 10 or so I may pull out the few that are too pale or too green and have a go at glazing a darker background again to see how they look.
I still have one more day after all.


  1. Andrew you should consider stenciling in (À la poupée) the touches of shadow you want...its an easy and aesthetic way to bring pop to a print with better visual control. I use printer transparencies as they are fairly inexpensive (as compared to artists mylar) and I use a woodburning tool to cut the shapes out that I intend to roll or brush in into.

  2. I had already prepared another block.
    It is definitely easier for me to carve an additional block then to mess with stencils when brushing on water-based inks, the extra time carving is repaid in time spent printing as I can quickly ink/lay paper/ and burnish a print but setting out a template/stencil, carefully brushing the ink out and then printing over 40-50 copies always takes more time.

    I had pulled out a slight reject and watercolored on some variations and shadows and decided that I didn't think it added enough to warrant going on with it. A simple Bokashi light to dark in the background would add some drama and I'll figure out later with my remaining 9-10 rejects/extras if they can be thus salvaged.

  3. Hi Andrew!
    It was so nice to meet you, I really hope we will see each other again when you'll come to Italy.
    And this print is simply amazing! I really love it.