I looked at a few tutorials online before I began, but I'm not really an "instructions" kind of gal--besides which, I had a few ideas floating around in my head and I was anxious to get them onto the carving block. I decided to dive right in, drawing directly onto the block with my trusty Sharpie.
|Sketched image, tools at the ready!|
|Block carving in progress.|
The carving process proved to be very tedious, because every mark I made had to be deliberate. With my oil paintings, I've been very loose and spontaneous--and if I make a mistake, I can always re-work the paint until I'm happy with the result. Since re-working the block wasn't really an option, I had to be hyper-aware of my choices. I tried to use the thickness and direction of my lines to create shadows, highlights, and depth of field. I made a conscious decision with each mark as to whether or not I wanted that particular segment to be inked.
|The fully carved block.|
Now, you may think that the inking part is the easy part (I know I did), but you'd be wrong (I know I was). If I used too much ink, the details of the image were completely lost. If I used too little, it created an interesting texture but the image was not well defined. The best image I made had just the right amount of ink, and I had applied just the right amount of pressure with the baren (that also took some practice).
|Too heavy! Goofy blocky clouds, and no highlights at all on those trees.|
|Too light! Great texture, though.|
|Just about right.|
But really, how am I doing?