first carving attempt
My order of woodblocks came today, so I spent some time playing around with my new tools. Of course, I still don't have any inks, brushes, or paper to actually make the prints, but for right now, getting a feel for the tools is a good thing.
For my first attempt, I decided to just go with one color and outlines. Perhaps that was a little ambitious, since I failed to really consider how skilled I'd need to be for some of the smaller areas. It's working OK, but obviously could be better. I believe that I could also use this as the key block, if I decided to to a multi-color print run. Since I am still learning, and really didn't set any registration notches to guide subsequent printings, I will probably create a new key block if I decide to do one.
I didn't even create the image properly. For true moku hanga, you should use a special type of paper to transfer your image to the block; I just traced over my image to make an imprint, then drew that imprint on the block. I'll be sanding it out a little later, so the pencil lines won't be a problem, but this isn't really what it should look like.
Once this carving is complete, I will probably start over on the other side with a multi-color version. That will be trickier, since I'll have to decide ahead of time how many colors I'm going to use, and carve that many blocks. Because there are variations within the colors (windows, light, door, trim, etc. on the lighthouse; different patterns in the rocks in front; etc.) I will probably need to do at least 6 blocks: color 1--brown rocks/beach in front; color 2--white lighthouse; color 3--black lighthouse trim, detail, birds; color 4--blue sky; color 5--yellow/cream light (also possibly accents, though I'll need to be careful there not to create "green" by putting the yellow on top of the blue sky); color 6--blue ocean. And that's just what I can think of right now! The colors won't necessarily be in that order either; I'll have to figure out exactly how to achieve the effect I want without inadvertently mixing colors--I think if I do light colors first (white/cream, yellow) and be sure to carve the light accents when I do the sky block, that will be the best route.