Learning New Skills

I had the pleasure of attending a Wood Engraving course at the Double Elephant Print Studio in Exeter.   It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time as I like the idea of the precision involved in carving into tiny blocks of wood.  I’ve long admired the work of Thomas Bewick, Agnes Miller Parker and there’s a number of contemporary artists who’s work I love; Kathleen Lindsley, Colin See-Paynton, Andy English, Anne Hayward and Ian Stephens. (I’ve put links under the artists who’s website details I have).


This is my print ‘Crow’ developing (I know you might think its a jackdaw, but he’s not!).  I won’t go through the whole technique, but you’ll see it often throughout these pages, as I really enjoyed it and will hopefully be doing some more.  These are in order of development;

Jean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof1 copy Jean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof2 copy

Proof 1 & 2 checking that I’m making the right marks for what I’m trying to achieve.  You’ll see that on the top left corner of proof 1 the ink didn’t transfer properly from the block, so an extra piece of paper was put beneath that corner of the block to even it up.

 Jean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof3 copy Jean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof4 copy

Proof 3 & 4 show the background.  I initially thought I would take out the whole background and make it white, but before I carved out all the block, I put some lines in.  I scribbled all around the surrounds for each print with details of the paper used, and what I liked or didn’t like about the print, this helps remember as my memory is a bit rubbish!

Jean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof5 copyJean_Stevens_WoodEngravingProof4 copy

I liked the background lines, so before I cut them out for the final print, I thought I’d paint in the background in white to check.  It’s a bit rough I know, but it still gave me a view, and confirmed that I wanted to keep the lines in.  So, after tidying these up I printed the final proof.  So, I’m now off to print an edition and buy some more boxwood!


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