The small woodblock "Ascension Study" is a preliminary study for a larger and expanded version of the same image. The hope is that I will make all my mistakes on this smaller woodblock and not on the larger version. The tactic has worked well in the past. If I have a question on the larger version, I can explore that on the study.
It seems there is usually an Ugly Duckling stage on a woodblock. The blue in the mountains gave hope that the image will develop beyond that monochromatic stage. At this point there have been seven color runs.
One of the joys of printing with the Japanese style of printing is the versatility of the process. The bright green was printed using just the bottom portion of the block. The top edge of the color was feathered to create a soft edge.
Near the end, there is little left of the original woodblock as most of it has been carved away over numerous carvings and printings.
The final color runs are drawn in with a felt tip pen and then that line work carved. A color softer than black is used to print the darks as a black can often be too stark and not harmonize with the other colors.
Read the full process description on the Woodblock Process Page.
Look under the "About Printmaking: Procedures and Process" column.