Another semester has started, I was back to university. Today I was going to meet Hans, my supervisor for my FYP consultation. I was eager to show him what I have harvested throughout my summer break and his feedback was highly positive. He also advised me to do a children book for these paintings and continue the woodcut method in producing a digital book. Therefore, I chose the story of “De Men Phieu Ky” on my top priorities’ list.
Besides, I borrowed the Book of Kandinsky to work on the “Steadfast Tin Soldier” for my second project. Kandinsky in his time period of the Blue Reiter.
This was the shortest time I prepared to make this print using one single board, as the detail was carved out and then combine with colors and dry leaves to make different unique pictures. One could never have a precise copy, hence I called them unique prints.
Finally, I’ve done with the traditional woodcut. The outcome is awesome. Sorry I could not capture the steps of making the frame. Basically, I just calculate the height and width of the painting, add on 5 centimeters each side to make the border using hard paper cardboard and cut out the border.
This is the process of a woodcut type 1 (using rulo). This design comprises three main colors: white, light hydrangea and black. After I redrew the design onto the wooden board, I started carving out the white area of the bird and the waves. Then, I would rolled a layer of ink on the carved board’s surface and put it upside down, below it laid a sheet of paper. Next, it was rolled out by a rulo pressing the fresh ink spread onto the paper.
Second layer was undergone the same process and the first layer was carved out to achieve the final look.
Although the paint came out does not even on the traditional paper, due to the natural texture of the paper, it still looked great when I put it in a nice frame.
I have tried different papers for the wood cut printing. This first type is the most beautiful paper, Paprika, translated from a Vietnamese folk paper. It is made of crushed scallops shell, then mixed with ground powder (probably glutinous rice flour was cooked to become adherence). A spruce broom is made to brush on top of the paper surface, it helps to create natural stripes running along the sweeping path and the white spruce shell, with sparkling light scattering fragments, which can be added another color in the process of making the scallop. It comes in different colors: natural/ivory of the sea shell, magenta, orange and yellow. I love the shinning and reflective effect that the print sets on the paper, it gives the work a much more beautiful and glamour touch.
In this type of woodcut, the painting is carefully planned before the wooden board being carved. According to the sketch painting, the first layer will be the background color, then will be cut out the areas for the second layer, and the third layer and so on. Finally, on the wooden board will be left with black outline. As this is called the semi traditional woodcut and will be done using a gigantic roller (as seen in the photo).