I've just completed a day of proofing on my next set of prints, prior to final printing.
The images here are of all the blocks printed together to check registration, but I've also printed proofs of all the colours separately to make sure there are no stray areas of block which are catching the paper and leaving ink marks. So it's been a case of print a little, then knives out and clear a little.
Because the images are very clear and open (even simple, in a way) I've had to do more proofing than I've done on other prints. A mistake on such an airy image would really stand out, and I want to keep rejected prints to an absolute minimum, so proofing is time well spent.
I'm only using 2 colours and black for all these prints. The 2 tones of Ultramarine and Cadmium Red are being mixed directly on the blocks prior to each print. The lighter tones use much less pigment, but it's coming from exactly the same paint bowl as the darker tone. On previous prints I would have pre-mixed 2 shades of each colour in my paint bowls for each block.
The reason for this change in technique is thanks to David Bull's new eBook on woodblock printing, 'My First Print'. Don't be mislead by the title though. Even if you're long since passed your first print, there is a wealth of information on woodblock printing techniques for printmakers of all levels, and especially those who, like me, have learnt all they know so far only from books and the internet.
Dave's eBook contains video demonstrations and audio files, as well as written info and images, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field, collector or printmaker.
I've realised I need to undo some bad techniques I've developed by not having a tutor to guide my learning.
I also had the honour to collaborate with Dave in a small way by creating some illustrations for the eBook using a cartoon version of Boots the Print Studio Cat which I designed for him.
More of that in another post.