Kanago Village , Ibaraki Prefecture by Kawase Hasui

woodblock print / 1954

woodblock print / 1954

The VMFA has these great woodblock prints from the master ! They are all so beautiful that I couldn’t decide on a favorite, so I’m posting 5 of them. I hope my camera shot is focused because you should see the detail ! How did he do it ? What I remember about woodblock prints is that you cut away on a block, and when you put the ink on with a brayer, the ink doesn’t go into the cut away sections. Then you press it onto the paper. So check out those tiny black lines. Did he draw them on with a pen and ink ? Or did he cut away the wood on either side of the line ? They are so precise ! Talk about tight register ! And all done by hand ! I’m seeing depth, shading, smoothness, and blending. And I’m sure if I tried to do a woodcut, it would look rough next to these. I wish I could learn this guy’s process ! If anyone out there in computerland knows the tricks to making a really fine looking woodcut, please tell me !


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