Wood Relief Prints, NZ Style

Today's workshop is 'relief printing' but more specifically starting with wood,
so I thought I'd blog about a few NZ Printmakers as examples
to discuss some diverse 'relief' styles and techniques you may want to explore further;

Annie Smits Sandano, Blue Birds II
Woodcut and embossing, 30x30cm, edition of 100

Woodcuts don't have to be black & white.
This example from Annie Smits Sandano includes multiple colours  
and I like the effect created by layers of transparency where the leaf prints overlap.
Also, the embossed pattern over top is great too.
(Embossing is just a print with no ink!)

Sam Broad, Colony Collapse Disorder, 2012
Woodcut, 63x49cm, edition of 45

Explore different styles of images;
The above contemporary woodcut by Sam Broad is enhanced by the variety of mark-making,
the busyness of the 'graphic' cartoon-like characters,
and inclusion of text into the design. 

Albrecht Durer, Deposition of Christ, 1496
Wood engraving, 38x28cm

Pablo Picasso, Trois Femmes (Three Women), 1959

Fatu Feu'u, Lapita Mulifanua
Woodcut, 50x70cm, edition of 40

Compare this to the images above of an illustrative wood engraving by Durer from 1496,
and an abstract expressionist linocut from Picasso from 1959.

Jo Ogier, The Huia's Lament III, 2010
Relief print, 43x96cm, edition of 5

I've seen one of the prints from this series by Jo Ogier.
The first thing that impressed me was the scale - almost a metre long!
Don't be afraid to play with scale, both big and small.
Consider printing on a coloured background as Jo has done.
Instead of printing straight from a tube as a solid block, 
try mixing a variety of coloured/tinted/metallic inks blended.

Simon Kaan, Untitled (Tiki I), 2010
Intaglio Woodcut, 71x50cm, edition of 12

Like this Simon Khan image, consider the possibility of a custom shape
rather than just using a simple square or rectangle.

Emma McLeary, First Flutter  (left: close-up)
Woodcut, paint and pencil, 30x30cm, edition of 9

Fatu Feu'u , Viiga poula: Adoration of fertility ritual by night, 2001
Woodcut, 60x120cm, edition of 40

Iris Steensma, Heard Mr Williams Preach,  2006

Don't forget to consider the composition.
Iris Steensma's woodcut is simpler and more figurative, 
though it still includes a foreground, mid-gound and background.
I like that the girl with the doll extends beyond the frame of the image.

Ben Reid, know the price of everthing and the value of nothing, 2012
Intaglio and relief print, 44x73cm, edition of 10

Consider how relief printing can be useful to create repeated patterns.
In this example by Ben Reid the pattern makes an interesting companion for the intaglio drawing.

Sheyne Tuffery, Consortium 1, 2011
woodcut, 50x70cm

After making several different plates, try using them in new combinations to make unique works,
use multiple layers and colours such as in these relief prints by Sheyne Tuffery.

Sheyne Tuffery, various woodcut prints

If this post has inspired you to make some woodcuts,
and want to investigate options for wood cutting tools, 
you may want to refer to my previous post about: Testing Woodcut Tools 

Grab some MDF and a roller and get printing!!!