The creation of Abrasax

Abrasax_carving1I haven’t made many new art posts in a while because although I am working on a great deal of new art, much of it is being kept under wraps until certain dates for various reasons. The reasons for concealment are good ones,, but I admit I can get a bit impatient about sharing new works, so I recently made time to create something without any such restrictions! If you follow my Facebook Art Page, you’ve likely seen at least a few process photos over the past week or so. If not, here are a few glimpses into the process.

Abrasax_carving2I’ve been interested in the symbolism of Abrasax (also known as Abraxas) for quite some time and recently began researching Abraxas stones. My intention is to create my own Abraxas stone in another medium, but I also felt it was time for a woodcut homage. I chose a block left over from the Arcanum Bestiarum series for the work, so you may notice it is the same size as the Bear, Hare, and Raven prints.

Abrasax_inking I utilized my usual technique of transferring sketch to block, and started carving with the head. Although I did sketch out the scales of the serpent legs, I left all but the head details off the block. In my experience, scales don’t always carve exactly as expected, so attempting to follow the sketch likely would have been an exercise in futility.

You may notice I’ve left a few elements a bit unfinished. I wanted to see how they’d look in solid black before permanently making them lighter. Now that I’ve inked and proof printed the block, I’ll let it dry a few days before finish carving. After those alterations the block will be ready for editioning. I’m leaning towards a small edition of 22, same as the Raven and Bear. Check out the videos below for a first person look at the first inking, and the first proof coming off the block.