December 9, 2013

Block Print a Day 6

        In trying to find a variety of relief print techniques I couldn’t do without Japanese moku hanga.  This sure looks incredibly different from Saturday’s bold, rough, spontaneous black and white!  It looks more like a delicate watercolor painting -- and it is indeed the technique of inking the block with watercolor glazes that allows the subtle gradations of color.  However, unlike a watercolor painting, everything about a Japanese woodblock print is minutely and meticulously planned.  This particular piece, a still life, is rather unusual, as prewar Japanese printmakers tended to concentrate on people and landscapes.  (You can see one of Kawase Hasui’s landscapes here.)  These may be the yummiest-looking apples of the week.

[Picture: Budo to Ringo (Grapes and Apples), Japanese color wood block print by Kawase Hasui, 1940 (Image from Ukiyoe-Gallery)]

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