Starting a New White Line Print

Eucalypt image


I am starting a new white line print today based on a photograph I took of a beautiful Eucalyptus tree that I saw near the Grampians  and Bacchus Marsh this past March. It really is stunning and I wanted to see if I could capture the essence of it in white line. First I cropped the photograph to about where I wanted what would appear on the carved image. Then I drew just the parts that I thought were enough and traced that drawing. I had already determined the size board I would use and made sure my drawing was a size to fit in the right place on the board.


Next I transferred the image to the board using a red colored pencil over the pencil marks that are face down on the board.

Eucalypt transfer to board


I made corrections to the drawing on the board as well as the tracing paper and original drawing. It is very necessary to keep in mind the size line that the carving tool is going to make, which is always bigger than the pencil line!

Eucalypt original drawing and board


Once the initial carving is finished, I fill the grooves with white powder to get an idea of how it might look. Again I made changes where necessary but am very careful….you can’t add the wood back in!

Eucalypt with powder on board

Because this is an Australian image and I have over two hundred water colors I have made from the soils from there, I am going to use them to color this image in. There are only three colors I plan on using, for the leaves a Launceston Hwy Tasmania Light Grey, for the stems an Emily Gap Northern Territory Red and Mildura New South Wales Mud Brown for the gum nuts. For now I plan on leaving the background white with just the embossed edge keeping the shape of the overall image grounded.

Here is the first pulled print. Now I am wondering if I need to use a background color or not. And if I want to enlarge the carved lines….most definitely on the outside edge of the print. But since this took most of the day to get this far, I need to take a break and return to the studio to do some tai chi and yoga stretches…..then a stint on the treadmill and migun bed with another novel being read to me. And finish the day with a nice Australian red wine.

Eucalypt first print