My summer vacation is coming to an end. For the past two weeks I have been visiting my dear friend Taeeun Yoo in Seoul, Korea. We spent our time drawing around Seoul, eating great food, working, and exercising together. It has been truly restorative. Today, my last day here, Taeeun conducted a printmaking workshop for me. I am most comfortable working in watercolor or pen, but am always eager to expand my artistic vocabulary.
First, I started with a drawing. Printmaking is wonderful because it forces you to think about shape and color first. Whereas, with other painting techniques, you are thinking about composition and line. My composition is based on my recent summer travels and a story idea I have been thinking about here in Seoul. I will share a few of the steps.
After transferring the drawing, I carved the white areas first. As in watercolor painting, I needed to build my print slowly from light to dark. The seagulls in this piece would remain white.
We mixed a greenish blue sky. This is the lightest color in the print.
Next, I carved away more of the block and printed the trees and ground a middle blue green.
After the sea printed, I added a darker blue green to the landscape and then printed the jacket and head of the boy last. After printing the jacket, we thought it needed to be warmed up a bit. We added a bit more yellow and then decided that we liked the original green.
We printed an edition of three. You can see here that each print varies slightly. For instance, in the first print, we inked a clean, flat blue for the water. In the second print some of the texture of the plate was left behind, making marks that looked more like waves. I really liked that effect, and continued the water lines for the rest of the prints.
Lastly, once the ink dried, I add a few details with a brush.
Voila, my first linoleum block print. Many thanks to Taeeun Yoo for her friendship and instruction today.
Check out her latest book, Here is the Baby, written by Polly Kanevsky, due out this September with Random House.