Some Things In The Works

I’ve been working on a new reduction print for a few weeks now.  Sorry no process shots, but I didn’t as yet have my rechargeable batteries for my camera.  Now I do.  So far I’ve printed five colors: pale yellow, two shades of orange, a light red and a very light red-violet.  I decided to print many somewhat transparent colors to build up a hopefully grainy and radiating surface.  Helen Frankenthaler  and Toshi Yoshida’s abstract works were my inspiration for this venture.  It seems to be working, I only hope it continues.  I didn’t give a close up shot of the print, because the details have only just begun to become separate from the atmosphere.

I’ve also been planning my next print, which is going to be larger in scale.  It’s another reduction, this time on mMDF board.  I love using MDF for woodcuts.  In fact, most of the woodcuts on my blog are done from MDF.  It’s inexpensive, often I can reclaim it, and it’s thick enough to use both sides.  MDF stands for medium density fiberboard and you can find it anywhere you buy lumber.  It’s basically particle board, and gives a gorgeous flat black print.

Here are some of my prints done from MDF board:

“It’s Easy To Believe”

“Overgrown”

“It Only Takes A Second To Make An Observation”

I have never attempted a color MDF print, let alone a multi-colored reductive MDF print, so I figure it’s way past time.

The print is much larger scale than the last few, but I always presoak the paper to get a lot of the starch out.

I rigged two runners of fishing line to accommodate the extra weight from the soaked paper.  It still all sagged into one bunch, but that’s okay.  I also cut the registration board  this morning and it’s about 5-6 times the size of the previous ones.  I’m pretty excited.

Have a great day.

Copyright©2012 by Drew Kail

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22 thoughts on “Some Things In The Works”

    1. It cuts pretty easily with wood carving tools. Impossibly with linocut tools. It’s a good idea to seal the board after carving and pre-inking, because it’s porous enough to absorb a lot of ink. Shellac or some other like material works great.

  1. I so admire your determination! I remember doing reduction prints and all sticking together on the string rope. Arrgh! And Helen Frankenthaler? NO better inspiration, one of the best exhibitions I ever saw were her woodcuts -they had her actual woodblocks, massive and unbelievably beautiful all stained and yummy. Happy printing.Cheers Sue

    1. Thanks. Seeing the blocks Would be amazing. I’ve only seen one such exhibit. It was a Chuck Close exhibit here in Portland, and his block were displayed. Blew me away.
      Drew

    1. Sure. Soaking the paper releases much of the starch it holds. This makes the paper more open to receiving the transfered image. It also, in the multi-color realm, insures that the paper reaches full water absorption size pre print, so that the paper at it’s full expansion due to moisture.

    1. I don’t find it blunts the tools any more than wood. I do have a rule to hone the tool I’m using every 10 minutes or so, just to ensure it doesn’t wear down.

  2. Hi Drew, thanks for the like, I think your prints are really great, I’m just starting out on my own printmaking journey so will be checking back to your site regularly for inspiration.
    Best wishes and greetings from the Peak District, England.

      1. His prints are awesome. I especially love the Star Wars ones. And thanks for linking to my post. If it’s okay I was going to put a link to your blog under an “other great blogs” menu I am creating. I really like your it. Let me know.
        Drew

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