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09 March 2016

Print Workshop at the University of Edinburgh

Two of my professors, Jane Hyslop and Jonny Gibbs, recently held a print workshop for all of us MAs and MFAs in Illustration to go over the relief printing methods of linocut, woodcut, wood engraving and monotype.
We gathered around as Jane went first. She showed us various examples of a wide range of artwork achieved using these methods. Then she walked us through several different ways to do monoprinting.
In this picture you can see where she rolled out some black ink, covered half of an MDF board with it, laid some newsprint on top to create random lines and shading (simply by rubbing her finger over it). The newsprint picked up the ink that had been rolled onto the MDF. Brilliant line quality!
     Of course, it's called a monoprint because you can't do multiple identical prints using this method. But what's cool about monoprinting is how much FUN you can have with it.
Here Jane is rolling out red and yellow ink to create a gradient on a wood block. Then we went over to the more modern relief print machine. (In the top photo, behind Jonny, you can see the Eagle printer I've used in the past.)
It's important to get the pressure right when doing relief printing, so the entire bed of the relief printer moves up and down to accommodate various width papers and, in this case, wood blocks.
     And then, you just mess with it! Keep in mind, all the black and red and yellow you see is wet ink.
Jane did a quick print of the first set-up, then cut that up and scattered it about for the next prints. It got more complicated looking the more she went back and forth, and yet, really, it was just a lot of playing around with texture and paper. Very cool.
Very quickly she ended up with some very sophisticated looking work.
Of course, the ink gets lighter every time you go over it as well, which makes for some lovely textures.


. . .

After that, Jonny introduced us to linocut, woodcut and wood engraving. You may recall my first linocut at the beginning of last term. But I haven't tried woodcutting yet - which I plan to. This is Jonny's preferred method, so his comfort level with the media was obvious.
First he did a woodcut piece (very quickly). Off the printer, it looked like this. The actual woodcut is at the top with the printed result below.
Then he did a wood engraving, which is basically a woodcut at the end of the wood grain - the hardest side. They tend to be much smaller and much harder to carve. Here are his results. This was about 2 inches wide.
All of this is for a brief on relief printing we've been assigned - to create a piece with the theme "Arrival." We're each to make 15 impressions of our work to pass out to each other. We'll also be making an album of some sort (Jane taught us book binding last semester) to hold each other's work. It will make a lovely souvenir to take with us when we graduate - a little bit of art from all our fellow classmates. What a lovely idea! I'll share my results soon...

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