BLOTTING PAPER The Comic: Production Report No.20

Art, Blotting Paper, Comics, Japanning January 29, 2013

Continuing the series of regular reports documenting the production process of the first and second issues of my artist book/comic Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions Of Doctor Comics, Chapter 1: The Ingurgitator and Chapter 2: A Blot On His Escutcheon, this post shows some of the art tools and the workspace utilised in the production of two-dimensional print images. In terms of image-making techniques, printmaking is suitable for generating both single and sequential images.

A bowl of sumi ink and a brush

A bowl of sumi ink, a brush and a bamboo baren. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Following the Japanese creative print approach the use of sumi ink enabled me to obtain solid blacks in some of the images. The ink was brushed onto the block or substrate surface carrying the ink. The paper was placed onto this and rubbed down on the reverse side with a bamboo baren.

Bench hook and roller on studio bench.

Bench hook, roller, rag and bucket on studio bench. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Materials used included water based ink and paint, rags and cloths for smearing, cleaning and wiping the ink, and a plentiful supply of running water for washing the blocks and brushes as well as my hands.

Water, cloths, sink and block.

Water, cloths, sink and lino block. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Despite the implied reference to woodblocks in Japanese print techniques, it need not always involve woodblock printmaking. The wood may be replaced by alternative materials such as vegetables, fruit, leaves, string, rubber or other found objects that are sufficiently flat or pliable to be inked and pressed onto paper. The creative print (sosaku hanga) approach places the emphasis on the act of making the print. Oh joy!

Printmaking attire.

Printmaking attire. (Photo by Michael Hill)

For a visual diary record and time-line overview of this project, see all of the BLOTTING PAPER production reports. Issue #1:   No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13    Issue #2:   No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29


Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Dr. Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics studies, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art, and former member of the Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship and the Advisory Committee of the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, he has delivered public lectures on Comics, Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, Animation, Design and Visual Communication. Having donated his collection of research materials on Australian alternative comics to the National Library of Australia he is now active in the artistic domain, writing, drawing and printmaking, creating art postcards and prints and his own graphic novel Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions of Doctor Comics.

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