Blind Contour, Whiteline, Self-Portraits

I don’t often share student work on my blog, but I’ve been so impressed with the results of this project I felt that it was worth it was worth sharing with a larger audience. In my printmaking course we’ve been exploring the big idea of identity through portraiture. We set the stage by looking at a series of Rembrandt’s self-portraits, a self-portrait woodcut by Kathe Kollwitz, and a contour line portrait by David Hockney. We began our discussion of these images by exploring the question, “How does the way the artist represents themselves tell us about them?”

 This print is the first major project for my students and is designed to help them develop their fine motor skills in carving a continuous line in the linoleum. The white line print also mimics the action of drawing more closely where they are working in the positive, where a mark equals a mark. The technique of blind contour line drawing was chosen to alleviate the pressure of creating a realistic image, allowing them the freedom to take more creative risks.  Below you will see images of my demo and some early prints of their work.

My demos:

My student’s early prints: