“mix and match” block printing project I did with my students. Today I’ll share the mixing and matching I’ve been doing myself. Over the summer I carved 3 small butterfly blocks, plus a flower. (They aren’t real species of butterflies, by the way, although they’re certainly based on actual shapes and patterns in the world of lepidoptera.) I made them to print in multiples in different arrangements, but I also wanted to try something that showed each of the butterflies on its own. So the first way I printed them was to paint watercolor backgrounds on my paper, and then print them on top with black ink. Because I use water-based ink I can’t paint on top with watercolor, hence painting the paper first. Of course that means it isn’t easy to get the color and the printing to match up exactly. I made myself a template and painted with the template showing slightly through the paper from the back, but even so, it was hard to get things lined up.
The one with the yellow flower in the middle is an actual print which I did during my summer class, while all the students were busily at work, too. The others are on photoshop, but include a couple of designs I have decided to print. I started printing this morning and finished a round of blue and lavender background flowers, but with all the different colors of ink it’ll be a while before I’m done with it all. I’m planning to do three different variations based on some of the designs here, so I thought I’d go ahead and share the designs without waiting until I finish the actual printing. After all, the point here is to see what happens when you combine small blocks in multiple ways. Although I hope to have some finished products before long, the point today isn’t the finished pieces but the process.
[Pictures: Bright Butterflies, rubber block print with watercolor by AEGN, 2015;
5 patterns using rubber blocks of 3 butterflies, 1 flower, and a leaf, by AEGN, 2015.]