We had a choice of three, I chose to do Woodcutting with Sue Williams. I’ve never done woodcutting or prints, so this was a completely new way of working for me. We started the lesson off with a talk from an artist called Pete Williams(?). He showed us some of his very large prints that he has made, and talked about the markings on the prints.
This is a quick photo of one of his pieces, just to document the lesson. You can see, in this image, all the different types of marks he made and the different tonal values. I found the size of the prints particularly interesting because they are so large, and yet he explained to us that they originated from a very small circle sketch – that he makes after he does a certain distance running.
We worked collaboratively to create a long line of drawings, based on the trees in front of us:
I started with outlining where the main parts were (such as the edge of the bush, a fence or tree) and then went over it with ink.
As we were working collaboratively, we had to discuss with the people around us what parts they were doing and where they wanted them. This was a simple task, until the person next to them had different ideas. So we all had to compromise and make slight changes to our own work to fit with there, and even draw some of our markings on their wood so that they flowed together.
Here is a progress picture of my work, and the person next to me. The next stage was to actually cut into the wood. I found this stage a lot harder than just painting marks onto it. When Pete showed us how the tools work, he made it look so easy! I really struggled to follow the lines that I had made, with the cutting tools. I’m worried that my print isn’t going to come out properly because of my awful cutting skills, but I know I just need practice. I’m going to go in to the printing room tomorrow to finish off my cutting, because I didn’t manage to complete it today.