January 12, 2021

The sky for the Bishop's Chapel Woodblock

By Leon Loughridge
The sky for the Bishop's Chapel Woodblock

The sky is almost done for the Bishop's Lodge woodblock. The block is 20"x20" which means the paper is 23" square. I chose a heavy weight Japanese paper to print on knowing that such a large sheet would be a challenge to handle and to lay onto the inked block.

With the large thunderhead printed, BishopsLodgeRoseCloudsI moved my attention to developing the sky. The first color I printed was a pale rose over the horizontal clouds across the top. The rose color printed on the sky and horizontal clouds since both were still in relief.  The rose color was subtle and only changed the color without changing the value. 

Next, I carved away the horizontal clouds leaving just the sky in relief. Now I needed to build up the courage to print the blue sky. A large flat color field can be a challenge to print especially on a block this large. After some good procrastination, I went for it and inked up the block and printed the first proof. 
There is always a moment of truth as one pulls the printed paper off the block. Did it work or did I miss the mark? As I pulled the paper off the block, I was excited to see the cerulean blue had the punch I wanted and needed only a slight color adjustment. With a touch of white added to the ink mix, printing began. Pulling each print off the block was so satisfying. I will print one more color run for the sky, a gradation of darker blue across the top of the sky. 

BishopsLodge woodblock