Faces in Woodcut (22 May 2013)

I very often show figures in my work and it has been a very interesting and a continuing long process to learn to create them in woodcut. Recently I have been thinking of faces in particular because I am hoping to (one day soon) make an artist book with many of the faces of the people I have portrayed in my woodcut work. What is very interesting is how the way of cutting affects so much the image. I don’t know which style I like more, I just marvel at the different strength of each image and really the different message that can be transmitted depending on the technique. So I guess I need to think about that message to make sure it is what I want to say with that particular image…. uhmm often I just like the texture so much that I like to play around with different styles. The funny thing is that as soon as it crosses my mind that I am finally mastering a technique I have a total failure that takes me back to square one. In a way this surprise is part of the challenge that drives me to try.
There are lots of amazing woodcut artists that have created amazing images that show faces. The German artist Käthe Kollwitz created some beautiful and very strong images; Leonard Baskin, Barry Moser, and many others. Below are some of the faces I have been working on. Three are full prints, and two are sections of bigger prints. I leave it to you to decide what you like best!

face_a face_b face_c face_d face_e