Abstraction In Printmaking

By: Sarah Wiltshire

There are two different ways you can abstract a print. The first way is to start off with an abstract image and just continue to use that to make your final product. The second way is to start of with a realistic image and to simple use repetition and overlap until it becomes abstracted.

In my own work I am drawn to the second option. I like this option because it allows me to get a range from realistic to abstract. When creating an abstract print in this way, or when layering a print in general you have to keep in mind that you can go too far. While layering adds complexity, you can get to a point where your image has too much going on. this will make it like a mess, or just a not very interesting pattern. A good way to fix this is by printing a contrasting color on top to serve as a focal point. However, if you have already used to many varying colors this could be a lost cause.

While there is a danger of over printing, I would still encourage every one to experiment. One of the best parts of printing is how many different images you can get from one starting point. I encourage every one to test the boundaries, see if you can create a wide range of work from one simple block.

Learning to abstract like this turns every image in to an open door of possibilities.It’s certainly a good way to practice your print making skills.

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