This print is one of a series of character studies.
They started out as reworkings of the linocut versions. I wanted to go larger to get more detail into the carving, so they are redone from scratch rather than being simply an enlargement.
A lived in face is an interesting face. But of equal importance to me is the amount of information it provides to carve - texture, lines, depth and contrast that allows a lot of mark making in the creation of the final print. A mix of contours and colour that resolve into a recognisable form.
I call myself as brysky_imperfect_prints because, well, the prints are not perfect.
- Layers are often ever so slightly misaligned, and the degree varies across the finished prints in an edition. I make my own registration devices, as it is all part of the process and I cut down the MDF plates from larger sheets for economy reasons and they are never truly square.
- In places there are suck marks in the ink - raised areas of ink deposit created when the plate is pulled from the paper.
- There are small elements of chatter, areas where the carved areas unintentionally pick up ink or emboss the paper.
- The prints are made using a multi block technique. No attempt is made to create a key block to offset information to other blocks. Rather each block is cut simultaneously with each carrying information important to the final print so (in my hands at least) never align perfectly.
However all of the above is to be embraced in realising the intended outcome of the print (obviously the viewer is the final judge of that!) I have absolved myself from the pursuit of perfection, as for me that is the point.
- When one colour sits on another, depending on opacity, a third is produced. The misalignments allow fragments of the original mix to add depth and vibrancy to the image.
-There is texture to the raised ink that is akin to brush marks.
-The chatter and embossing hints at the process of making the print.
-They are a handmade thing. Cut and carved MDF sheets are shellacked to seal the plate, then inked and pressed onto paper using a hand lever style press.
Each print is made up of 3 layers and there are generally 3 in an edition. The editions are variable as there are a lot of colour combinations. Some are deeply considered whilst others start with some left over ink and a challenge as to what is the best way forward. Interestingly, I think that individual faces respond in different ways - some better, some worse - to the changes of colour. But again, the viewer will have their own opinion on that.
They are signed and numbered on the front, and with a whiff of pretension, a final stamp of authenticity.
The most accurate representation of the colours is within the close up detail shots.
Where possible I will recycle packaging, so the unwrapping experience may not be a strong selling point. It will be safely and robustly packed however, and include a note of thanks.
Carved MDF Multi block relief print. Three layers. Water based relief ink on Fabriano Unica paper.