Character Development – Week 2/13

21/08/2017 Monday – Start of Week 2

I could only sketch the character in the story and some sketches for Tin Soldier.

Floppy drawing but it worked as the style.


Promising style for the ballerina. Comments from Hans: “Stretch the soldier long, squash the ballerina to make her look plumb.”




Back to School – Week 1/13

18/08/2017 Friday: Hans’s house

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.


Unique prints

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.

Detail is drawn on the board using oil marker
Colors are mixed to create gradient transition
Dry leaf had been soaked in chemical to decay in order to maintain leaf textures.


Print leaves in white color.
Black outline was to put last.
None is similar to another.

Framing time

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.






Vietnam Traditional woodcut

Well, it’s been a busy week. I can only recap my process of traditional Vietnamese woodcut print in a few pictures.

This design is carved on 2 wooden boards. The first board is the black outline. And then, the black outline board is transferred to a sheet of paper, with the ink still wet, put another board with the same size on top of the wet ink and roll it through the rulo.
Mix and paint the color on the colored board together with a damn layer of folk paper. The condition of the paper is kept damn through out the process if painting.
When all colors are done, let it dry and wait for the final black ink.

Pardon for the short description, will be more details when the outcome is ready.

Process of making woodcut print

Woodcut board.

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.


First layer is then left to dry.

Second layer was undergone the same process and the first layer was carved out to achieve the final look.

Final color is applied after the first layer is dry.
Finishing stage: framing.

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.


Printing materials: Papers

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.



Woodcut type 1

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).

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