I started back into a planned series of woodblock prints based on my sketches of Indian stray dogs. I was taught how to make Japanese-style woodblock prints from Dawn Simmons, the former print media studio coordinator at the UM School of Art & Design. She recommended the book Japanese Woodblock Printing by Rebecca Salter which I found to be very useful.

Recently I found an excellent website Diary of Carving Woodblocks by Ryusei Okamoto which outlines the steps visually and uses a few somewhat different techniques than Salter. Some tips I learned from this site include brushing wood glue over the wood prior to carving to help strengthen the wood. Okamoto also prints the Kento in the key block to help register the color blocks. In addition he rolls oil-based ink over the key block to aid in seeing the thickness of the lines for further carving. I thought it was interesting that he masked off areas of the block that he was not working on in order to stay focused on one area at a time. I did not try this technique as my block is fairly small, but I did try to work on one area at a time and that seemed to make the carving more managable.

I printed the keyblock onto a sheet of tracing paper and used it to copy the lines to the color blocks. Here are my blocks for the print (carved keyblock, carved color block 1 and uncarved color block 2).

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