Finding Relief… Printmaking, That Is

Printmaking Tasks Due 10/25/16

It’s finally here… the moment you’ve been waiting two agonizing days for. That’s right… it’s your weekly homework post for Printmaking!


Before next Tuesday, please give some tender, petal dropin’ attention to each of the eight great tasks below:

  1. Carefully read the Guidelines for Project 3: Making a Statement with Woodblock especially the information under the Project Description subheading.

  2. Run through the MOMA interactive exercise on woodcut. You should be familiar with this Flash-based site already from when you looked at the section on etching (intaglio).

  3. Find an example of a relief print you like using an online image search. Entering terms like “woodblock” or “woodcut” or “relief print” are good places to start. Post your choice along with its title and artist as a comment. I have already added an example for you that has some more info should you want it.

  4. brainstorm_fuck_you

    Probably how a few of you feel every time I make you brainstorm. It’s helpful, though. No… really.

    In your creativity, brainstorm a list of things you care about. Don’t worry whether they’re “good” or even appropriate to the assignment. Just explore what you’re passionate about.

  5. Look through your list and circle at least five things that jump out at you of being of interest AND on theme for Project 3. Although you may have ideas already for how to approach these in a woodblock print, artists typically reach deeper levels of inspiration with a little research. Search related terms and phrases to broaden your understanding and spark new directions. You can even print out photos and articles and paste them in your journal as you did for monotype. Hey… if nothing else, it takes up some pages! 😉

  6. With your brainstorming and research in mind, make at least 10 thumbnail sketches (also in your journal) to generate ideas. At this stage, I’m looking for ten DISTINCT IDEAS rather than variations on a compositional theme. We will meet one-on-one next week, and you need possibilities to discuss. Otherwise, it’s going to be a rather one-sided conversation. 😛

  7. Oh, hay… did somebody mention “creativity journal”? ‘Fraid so. It doesn’t seem possible, but we have arrived at midterms, so journals are due for review next week. Don’t forget to bring yours to class!

  8. Watch this awesome Gregory Brothers video featuring “Weird Al” Yankovic:
    Okay, obviously, that isn’t required homework per se, but it’s  worth three and a half minutes of your time if, for nothing else, to understand why I’ll be writing in “Weird Al’s Eyebrows” for president.

See you next week for our whirlwind workshop on one of my favorite types of printmaking, stamp prints. They’re fun, cool-looking, don’t require special prep (so no need to research and thumbnail unless you feel like it) AND they introduce you to the fundamentals of the relief process. Win, win, win, WIN. If they also bought pizza for the room, I would give them my pick for vice president.


5 thoughts on “Finding Relief… Printmaking, That Is

  1. Here is an example a woodblock I like posted to a comment:

    This is Anselm Kiefer’s “Brünnhilde/Grane” from 1982/3. It’s huge… 106 x 96 3/8 inches (8.5 x 8 feet!)

    Kiefer’s work typically takes inspiration from the troubled legacy of his home country, Germany. This print suggests the destructive conflicts of WWI and WWII metaphorically via the tragic fate of Germanic mythological figure Brünnhilde and her horse Grane in “The Ring” (the famous opera by Wagner, not the over-referenced horror flick). The print shows Grane in the funeral pyre into which a betrayed Brünnhilde rides with the eponymous ring. In the aftermath of this pyre, all the gods die.

    FYI: the example print you post does not have to have a social or cultural theme. It can simply be something you like. However, I thought it might be helpful for you to see one that does fit our Project 3 guidelines.


  2. A woodblock relief print of one of The Doctor’s oldest foes, based on the television series ‘Doctor Who.’
    Print size: 6″ x 9″
    Hand printed on Stonehenge paper in an edition of 50 prints.

    Mike Sgier


  3. I couldn’t find an artist on this work, as it’s from the 1600’s and has been long been in the public domain, but this totally ridiculous visualization of a “witch” kissing the devil’s butt is in the Compendium Maleficarum, a witch-hunting handbook.


  4. Dog Dream Reduction Woodcut by Mike Lyons.

    I really like how Mike did this because he added a bunch of colors with his and made it more abstract with the contrast. Plus the lines made it a more complex and simple Woodcut as well!!


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