It is very hard to figure out if the overall dark and light patterns work or not by just looking at the wood block. Since I started the wood engravings a year and a half ago. It has been my biggest issue and struggles. Of course I can print the image and see the image on paper, but it is not fun process. When any artists use the oil based ink, we need to use the chemicals to clean the plate, block, roller, and etc. even it is just for checking up the image. So I try to avoid this extra step and go for the perfect result for me. I am still guessing the possible printed image when I chisel. But gradually this guessing business is getting easier.
This is the image I just finished and printed yesterday. I think that I started to understand the value patterns created with curved white lines on black block. When I draw, I can build up the layers with erasing smudging, and redrawing. Here when I chisel, all value patterns are determined by the visual mixture of black and white. Those grays created by visual mixture also indicate the different textures. I realized it is almost like solving a puzzle when I was working on this image.
Wood engraving 8″ x 6″