Please let me apologize in advance for giving you homework before you’ve even done the class, but I think this is some information you’ll find useful just to prepare yourself.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to read this material, as we’ll go over it again when we meet up.
First up, these are the tools you’ll be provided with (which will be yours to keep, of course):
Starting from the top left and moving clockwise: a 6 x 4 inch cutting block, a brayer (roller), water soluble black ink, and a cutting tool with three blades.
I’ll also be providing you with printmaking paper, and anything else you’ll need to print.
I can also provide pencils and drawing paper, although you can bring your own if you prefer.
Next up, it’s a good idea to have some idea of what image(s) you’d like to make a print of.
You’ll be working with a fairly small 6 x 4 inch block, and initially you’ll be creating a black-on-white print, so you’ll want to choose a fairly simple image that can be rendered in black and white line.
There are techniques for achieving the impression of gray tones by using cross-hatching, but initially––at least, I think you should just work with black and white line to get a feel for the process. I tend to use natural forms in my own work. You’re welcome to make a print of anything you like, but here are some image suggestions based on the kind of subject matter I like to work with:
1: A flower.
2: An animal.
3: A bird.
4: A human face. 5: A fish.
6: A shoe.
Keep in mind that your final printed image is going to be 6 x 4 inches, so landscape is going to be tight (but not impossible).
If you’re going to do a bird or an animal you might want to just do the head.
If you’re going to do a human face, then hair and beards might present problems––although they can be fun to attempt.
You could even bring an actual object to work from.
The cutting tools are very sharp. I will do my utmost to keep you from cutting your fingers, but almost every printmaker gets a cut eventually.