Making an Imprint

And so the time has come to crank out some pages for Haikucomics! With my pen and ink and watercolour one by one the panels for A Beloved Wife, a Bow, a White Bird were given birth to, but something didn’t feel quite right. As I began to sense a stagnancy in my drawings, I told myself it was time to try something new. Stemmed from my already existing admiration for ukiyo-e artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige and fueled by a newfound appreciation for the Japanese culture, I decided I would try out numerous printmaking methods.

Here’s my first experiment with relief printing – a linoleum block print (later accented with watercolour).

I guess it was an interesting picture, but it didn’t have the look and feeling I was going for, so I thought I’d better seek technical help from professionals. A friend of mine referred me to a prestigious printmaking studio called Malaspina – turns out there’s a lithography workshop coming up, so there I went grinding that stone!

My stone is all ready!

Caught in a moment of meditation?

As Limp Bizkit would say – Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’!

First test print ever – tadah!

Here’s the best picture our instructor Julie McIntyre I could find. Many thanks to Julie!

Here’s print 1/8 from the edition.

I went back in with watercolours with one of the prints for a double page spread in A Beloved Wife, a Bow, a White Bird. This proved to be a pivotal panel in the comic that set the tone for the rest of the panels.

Other printing endeavours were also documented: monotype prints, linoleum block reliefs, I even painted on real leafs and pressed them against the page!

First I cut off the shapes I want printed.

Then I painted them black with india ink.

I used a stump to make sure the ink was thoroughly transferred onto the page. The last step was to peel it off. In general, incorporating printmaking methods has given the process an element of slight uncertainty, which made the final images look more alive and natural.

Here’s another mono print using a different medium. Try to spot the panels with these prints as you read A Beloved Wife, a Bow, a White Bird!

And so A Beloved Wife, a Bow, a White Bird is finally completed! You may also have realized that the Store section of the website has been updated with an edition of 8 lithograph prints I made at Malaspina, along with the artist’s proof which was used for the comic.

Next time we will wrap up the series of blog entries on Haikucomics. Stay tuned!