Direction III

Last week’s woodblock print, Direction III:

Direction III Woodblock Print

Direction III, Woodblock Print, 8"x6" image on 10"x10" Rives BFK

The alternate title for this print is “Who is that handsome men?”

Another in the Direction series of prints, which are all black and white, 6″x8″ prints. The direction series is about finding direction, or needing direction, or having conflicting direction, or something along those lines.

Honestly, a lot of time I don’t really know what the images I make are really about. Not exactly, at least. I have some feeling or notion that I can’t quite put into words, and so it ends up as an image.

I’ve been thinking about this notion of “direction”. I should have direction, I want to have direction. It doesn’t seem to always work out. This image is about wanting to move in a certain direction, the notion that things seem to halt moving in that direction, and that sometimes those things that put the breaks on a direction are external, and sometimes they come from myself.

got to self portraiting, not out of vanity, but because I was the only person here to use as a model for this one. Self portraits out of necessity.

A few technical notes

I was happy with the style in this print, I like how I was able to transfer illustration to the woodblock in a way that felt like I was still using my illustration style, and also using the nature of the woodblock.

When I draw, I usually use pencil, and end up with a softer line, and sometimes thin lines. That doesn’t transfer to woodblock, there are no soft lines, just the edge between the portion of the block that was carved, and the portion of the block that was not. This is a sharp line no matter how you carve it.

Also, the grain of the wood does not support a very thin line. The actual structural support of the wood I use breaks down with very thin lines, and when the line becomes thin enough, there isn’t enough wood left to keep the top layer of wood that accepts the ink in place.

I like how I was able to balance some line work with the needs of the wood to have a thicker line in this print. I may try to do some more like this.

A few production notes

This block took about 10 hours to carve, though this time may have gone quicker if I wasn’t having a bit of a James Bond marathon as I was carving this one. Carving the blocks is the least fun, most grueling part of this process, I usually have some sort of media going when I carve to entertain myself. I just got the last Ultimate Edition box set of James Bond movies, and decided it was the perfect time to work my way through them.

I was cleaning my apartment last weekend and found a stash of Rives BFK paper that I didn’t know I had. Rives is a heavyweight, bright white, cotton rag paper. It is really suited for lithography and etching, but I decided to use it for this print anyway.

After I tore the paper into the correct size, I put half of it in a damp pack (a stack of paper with dampened newsprint in between the sheets that is put under pressure to evenly dampen the paper). The dampened paper printed better, of course, as it usually does.

Ultimately, however, I think I need a press if I am going to keep this up. Right now I am printing by rubbing the back of the paper against the block with a large flat wooden spoon. It takes a lot of effort, and I still don’t get the ink transfer I want. I think a press would help with that, and speed up the printing process immensely.

For this week, I’ll be whipping out another of these “Direction Series” prints, don’t quite know what it will be yet. I need some time to sit down with my sketch pad and think it through.

Direction –>

Having trouble finding direction?

Ever feel like you are pushing yourself one direction, and life is pulling you another?

Part of you is going one way, another part going another?

Because I do to. Just a part of life, I guess. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m no philosopher.

But I do feel pulled in lots of directions. Sometimes internal, sometimes external. Sometimes both.

This series of prints is about that.

Direction I Woodblock Print

Direction I, 6"x8" image on 8"x12" Hosho paper

There’s two of them. The direction is the same. And the direction is different. That’s the whole point.

This image came about to put into images something that I feel, but is hard to explain. maybe the image will let you know what I mean.

Maybe it will mean something different to you.

Direction II Woodblock Print

Direction II, 6"x8" image on 8"x12" Hosho paper

It’s a woodblock print, hand carved, hand inked, hand printed.

Let me know what you think!

More Drive/Driven Variant madness!

Have I gone crazy?!

I have gone crazy with variants to this series of Drive/Driven prints. Here’s a few more.

The orange variant:

Drive(n) woodblock print by Sean Neprud, orange variant

Drive/Driven woodblock print, 13x6, orange variant (click to enlarge)

and the cool blue variant:

Drive(n) woodblock print by Sean Neprud, blue variant

Drive/Driven woodblock print, 13x6, blue variant (click to enlarge)

This is the end of the line for this series, it’s all done, no more prints, no more variants.

Drive/Driven off the presses

Finished this one up last night.


Drive/Driven, 13x6 Woodblock print (click to enlarge)

This is the last in this series, kinda the “put it all together” print. Literally, I guess.

This print took quite a while to print. This required 10 blocks to print.

More on this one coming soon, plus variants!

Limited Edition Variants of Driven and Drive Woodblock Prints

Not only are my woodblock prints limited editions, but my limited editions have limited variants!

Oh, heck yeah!

Both the Drive and Driven prints that I finished over the last couple days each have two variants.

Powerful Pink Variants

One fourth (numbers 9 through 12) of each edition of prints is the Powerful Pink variant:

Driven Woodblock Print Powerful Pink Variant

Driven Woodblock Print, 4x6, Powerful Pink Variant

Drive Woodblock Print Powerful Pink Variant

Drive Woodblock Print, 4x6, Powerful Pink Variant

Cool Blue Variants

One fourth (numbers 13 through 16) of each edition of prints is the Cool Blue variant:

Driven Woodblock Print Cool Blue Variant

Driven Woodblock Print, 4x6, Cool Blue Variant

Drive Woodblock Print Cool Blue Variant

Drive Woodblock Print, 4x6, Cool Blue Variant

New Print: Drive

Operation: Night Fire continues. Here’s the latest print, nice and complete:

Drive, 4x6 woodblock print

Drive, 4x6 woodblock print

This series started with a single print that I carved months ago, but I have been adding to the idea, following through, completing the drive train.

Coming up, did I mention the limited variants?!?!

New Print: Driven, and Operation: Night Fire.

Hot off the press (ie. my work station) is this brand new print. Or brand old print, if you’ve been keeping tabs here.

Anyway, I printed the edition, and have a nice new stack of prints. They look delightful!

Here’s the regular version:

Driven, 4x6 woodblock print

Driven, 4x6 woodblock print

The name of the print is Driven. I tried to make this image a reflection of how it feels to be compelled by something that you don’t quite feel like you have control over. Or it is a cool picture of a dude with a gear instead of a brain. Or maybe it is a comment on our modern times, except replace “modern times” with “industrial revolution”.

That’s the thing with art. You get to decide what it means to you, I just get to be the supplier.

Speaking of supply and demand and commerce and all things great about America, these will be on sale! Soon.

I just want to finish up this series of prints first.

This also means that this print is the first in a series of related prints. I started printing the next one yesterday, plan to finish it up this week.

I decided that I like working in series, so a lot of the work for Operation: Night Fire is being done as a series.

Operation: Night Fire

I function pretty much in binary. I’m either doing nothing, or scheming. Operation: Night Fire is my latest scheme. And it’s a good one. Ambitious. Waaaaay too much work. But, hey, it’s either that or do nothing. Like I said, binary.

I can’t quite tell you what Operation: Night Fire is quite yet, because I’ve learned not to explain my schemes until they’re already complete.

(You’d think I would have learned this from Ozymandias all those years ago when I first read Watchmen, but I didn’t)

So, clearly I let slip that Operation: Night Fire exists, the time isn’t right to fill you in on the details though. I need to finish it first.

I’ll tell you this, it’s gonna be freakin’ cool.




My order of paper from McClain’s arrived packed in enough cardboard to make a fort.

So I did.

Current project’s hanging there in the background.

That’s all.

Nerak, the greatest hero of all

So DC Comics relaunched their entire line of comics with 52 new #1 issues this month. Cool. I like DC Comics.

There is a survey on their new 52 comics that folks can participate in. Except they list 53 comics in the list of comics they released.

The new addition is “Nerak”, and it is a dummy entry, to see if people are paying attention, or if they are just blindly clicking.

But what if it was real?

If it were real, this would be my favorite panel from it (I whipped this up on my lunch break, after reading this post at the Beat.

Nerak respects women, but can't be swayed from his mission

Nerak respects women, but can't be swayed from his mission

It’s a spoof on the amount of sexual content in the recent DC books, and I managed to include the strange hooded lady that appears in all of the new 52 comics.

Drawing the Sierras

I went on a big old long backpacking trip for a week.

I managed to carry a pad of paper and pencils along with me, in addition to clothes, food, sleeping bag and tent (and various other required sundries).

We were in the Eastern Sierra.

I decided to steal an idea from my dad, and combine my notes and my drawings into a single page.

It turns out that most days, I was pretty beat after a day of hiking, and didn’t have a ton of time or energy for much other than setting up camp, getting fed, and falling asleep.

I did get a couple days of drawing in. This first is from the first night:

Big McGee Lake Pencil Drawing

Big McGee Lake Pencil Drawing

This second is after a couple days of hiking, we had a short day climbing up into Pioneer Basin:

Pioneer Basin Upper Lake Pencil Drawing

Pioneer Basin Upper Lake Pencil Drawing