Chiaroscuro Woodcuts

On the way home from work yesterday, I started thinking about the chiaroscuro woodcut and whether this format might be an appropriate medium for the Wading Series. Next semester at Walnut Hill I’ll be teaching a Relief/Monotype class, and the first assignment I had planned was a chiaroscuro woodcut, a print done from multiple blocks with each block representing a different tone. One aspect of the India ink that I’ve been trying to take advantage of is its ability to layer due to the quick drying time of the ink. Most likely after using the Walnut ink for so long I think this is a welcome change to the process of making my ink drawings. At the same time, the India ink drawings I’ve been doing have been relatively graphic and have relied much less on ink bleeds than my previous drawings. It seems like this would translate perfectly into the chiaroscuro woodcut. I had initially planned on transitioning into woodcut at some point anyway, so this is definitely a route I want to explore when it comes up. Multiple blocks and tones will take infinitely more time than the straightforward black and white print, but perhaps this would be a great way to establish depth and tone but still maintaining the graphic quality of the image.

I may go out this weekend and start buying some poplar sheets to laminate together and get going on the woodblocks. While I won’t be able to print them for some time, I can certainly get started on preparing the woodblocks and carving them which is quite time consuming as it is.

Coriolano Chiaroscuro Woodcut


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