It was a couple of weeks ago now, but I’m finally taking the time to write this up. Show season has me traveling all over the place instead of typing blog posts while I wake up.
The second day of the two-day workshop with Robert Canaga at Whiteaker Printmakers was an exploration of a simple technique with lots of uses. We did monotypes with Caran D’ache water-soluble crayons. My goal with this was to explore ways to add “tone” to my block printing. Wood block prints are usually pretty binary. There is ink or no ink. Black or white. No shades of grey. I’m always looking for ways to use wood blocks, but break the binary and use more shades in the middle.
As soon as I heard that these crayons were water soluble, I realized that I could mix them with water and just paint watercolors. The process is pretty simple. I placed a piece of frosted plexiglass on the block and painted the “wrong-reading” image onto the plexi. Then I coated the water-soluble painting with an acrylic medium and “melted” the painting, allowing the press to transfer it to the paper, suspended in the clear acrylic vehicle.
- Painting on plexiglass
- The finished painting
- Flipped and laid over a block-printed image
- The final result