Man O’ War, 15 x 9.5 inches, hand-colored woodcut.
COYNER’S first encounter with the art form was as a child visiting the North
Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. An exhibit of Japanese woodblock cuts
instilled his love of the craft. While he began by trying to duplicate what he
saw, he now has his own process streamlined.
“I grab a brush and ink to begin my woodcuts; sometimes I draw directly
on the block, other times on paper. When I am happy with what I have done, I will transfer
to the wood with carbon paper and a ballpoint pen. In between these two stages can be
many a layer of tracing paper and many miles of ink drawings,” he says. “Cutting is simple
for me, I start with a piece of hardwood (poplar or maple) or plywood and two-to-three-gauge
chisels and cut.”
He later goes over the transferred print with watercolor, adding shape and rhythm with
pastels or bright pops of color. The flow in this technique adds a personal touch to the
entire process that, he notes, can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an entire day.
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56 august 2021