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How to make a woodblock print? Tom Kristensen, born 1962, is a young artist from Australia who works in the tradition of Japanese woodblock printmaking. This page describes how he made his latest woodblock print titled "Currawongs, Lord Howe Island". Creating an original, hand-made woodblock print in Japanese traditional techniques is an effort that requires great skill, patience and time.
The following text was written by the artist Tom Kristensen himself. We thank Tom for his kind permission to publish it. All copyrights for the images and the text are with the author, Tom Kristensen.
First Publication: January 2007
Latest Update: May 2013
To make a print one needs paper, colour and blocks. The washi paper is made by Iwano Ichibei who carries the status of a 'Living National Treasure' in Japan. The design is carved into 5 blocks of solid cherry. The ink is made from powdered pigment mixed with alcohol, water and gum arabic. The ink is brushed out over the block and the paper is rubbed with a Japanese baren. This first block is used three times at different stages to produce different effects.
By using the ink with water the effect is an appearance like sesame seeds or goma-zuri. When the ink is mixed with rice paste the printed texture will be smooth. By applying and spreading the ink in a controlled way many other effects are achieved.
Here there are two impressions to create the faded blue bokashi. Small details such as the distant islands, tail feathers and the yellow eye are added. A light grey block is used to add colour density to the bush.
The moisture content of the paper must be carefully regulated. Prints are staggered to balance the transfer of moisture. The first block is used for a second time to create a golden glow to the mountain and the bottom edge of the picture.
The rainbow coloured bokashi picking up the brightly coloured leaves and the dark branches is made with a single impression. Two brushes are used, one with the green ink is reversed to fade the band of green both up and down.
Both birds are printed using a dark green to black bokashi. The large bird is printed twice to produce a more solid colour. The first block is used for a third time to add dark green accents to the foliage and print margins.
For this impression the block is sprayed with a mist of water after the ink is spread. The text is added to the bottom of the print with a rubber stamp and signed with a pencil.
Tom Kristensen is not only a great woodblock printmaker. He is also an excellent writer, and usually he accompanies each art print with a short essay. You find Tom's articles on the web site of artelino - including the one for the woodblock print Currawongs. And of course you can buy Tom' prints in artelino's art auctions.
503 sold object(s) by Tom Kristensen born 1962 in our Art Archive
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
The images on this web site are the property of the artist(s) and or the artelino GmbH and/or a third company or institution. Reproduction, public display and any commercial use of these images, in whole or in part, require the expressed written consent of the artist(s) and/or the artelino GmbH.