Thursday 20 July 2017

Japanese Woodblock Printing Week : Hokusai at the British Museum

 The day after the first session of Japanese Woodblock  course at Morley College,  by happy coincidence I'd already arranged to revisit the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum  with friend Hazel. Being a member  meant that  we had guaranteed entry ( I'd booked for 1pm)  so we could have a leisurely lunch in the Members Room first , so civilised!
Having an insight from having a go myself I was even more in awe of the skill involved and having received a copy of the   exhibition book over the weekend ( with excellent  images) I concentrated on looking at the details and making  notes in my sketchbook. I couldn't resist buying  a wooden postcard of Mt Fuji tho'! Things I noticed:

 Masterly  compositions
 Miniscule pattern making, embossing and use of metallic pigments
 Mark-making in print
 Characterful ink drawings
 Use of brushmarks in drawing( particularly like the reeds)
 Contrast of patterns - a grid for saltpans , loose ink sketch for mountains
Textures: mark, line, embossing, metallic pigments
Using woodgrain of block as part of design

 Having seen Carol's book from 1830's, I had a new appreciation of their structure. This version of the 'Great Wave'  with  foam seeming to turn into birds ( like Escher) and it's quiet palette speaks to me.

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