Sunday, December 30, 2012

woodblock print

Penn Cove, woodblock print, 6 x 8
While working with printmaster Sharri LaPierre, I have enjoyed learning about a variety of print media processes. Most recently, I tried my hand at woodblock. Above you see the results of my first attempt.

For this print, I carved four blocks: one for the black lines, one for the yellow sections, one for the red sections, and one for the green. Carving was meditative and serene. It wasn't until I ran my first "proof" copy that I realized I needed to remove much more of the waste wood.

carving lines block

After I carved the blocks and proofed them, I printed them first on Speedball printing paper, then on Rives BFK.

The design of this print comes from my sketchbook from this summer. You can see the page below. The bold, bright colors were inspired by Hans Hoffman, whose work I saw at the Crocker Museum and Blanton Museums. I also read a biography of Hoffman by Cynthia Goodman.

sketchbook 2012 Summer Boat Trip, K. van Schoonhoven
As I look through old sketchbooks now, I wonder how the various drawings might look in woodblock! I foresee some more experimenting ahead. I'm ready!

You can watch a video about woodblock printing here.


SamArtDog said...

I also read and enjoyed Goodman's book on Hoffman. Marvelous! You certainly put the influence to good use.
What kind of wood for the blocks?

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

The wood is a Shina plywood, available through McClain's Printmaking Supplies (

Ralph said...

Woodblocks sounds very interesting. I have been looking at lino as another yet simpler way of doing this. I was reading an article and feel pulled to give it a try. Love your colours.