Because my Bittersweet print will be very small, I spent a lot of time converting my earlier sketch into a digital drawing with flat areas of color. It’s like creating a jigsaw puzzle or a quilt – each piece has to fit together perfectly. I started with an outline drawing, but the lines were too thick to be precise enough for carving out the different color areas.
So I scanned the drawing and filled each area with the corresponding color. I then painstakingly filled each line in the drawing so that only color butted up to color – no lines.
This drawing gave me the precise edge between colors that I needed to carve with the knife.
I flipped the drawing horizontally to compensate for the reversal that will happen when printing. I then printed out this drawing onto a very thin japanese paper by taping it to a regular sheet of paper and running it through my printer. Instead of gluing down the image with rice paste or methyl celluslose (which caused the inks in my drawing to bleed), I spray mounted my drawing to the wood. this worked really well and I will do this again. The only drawback is that I had to use paint thinner to remove the spray mount glue from the wood.
Here is a test print of the first block, printed twice, first with blue and then with a grey-brown gradation.
The final print will be on a whiter paper than this test paper.