The art and craft of pysanky

Black and White

2 responses

  1. Dennis Koerner

    Hi, I just joined the pysankeUSA group in Yahoo. As I was looking around the site,I found your web page in the links section. I love your work and work ethics. I’ve tried pysanke a couple times in beginner classes and now I’m ready to try learning more complex styles and methods. I have purchased a pile of books and how to’s, but I need some help that I can’t find answers to. I understand how to do the regular colored eggs and have had pretty good success, but the black and white has me confused. Yours on this site are just wonderful. I get how to dye the egg black,draw the design, then the clorox solution,but how do you get the effect of positive/negitive patterns using this method? What if you don’t start out with an all black egg, but white. Your eggs seem to do both. How do you see your pencil lins with an all black egg? I’ll stop here as I don’t know if you answer personal questions or not,but did not want to meet you thriugh the group site with all my questions right off the bat. Hope tp hear from you,and thanks for any help you may provide.
    Dennis (DJ)

    June 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

    • I love all your questions, DJ, and I love helping fellow artists along the path. All of my black and white eggs start with the white egg. If they seem to be more white than black, it’s because I draw lots of wax lines to leave less space for the black dye. It’s time consuming to say the least. I’ve experimented a few times starting with a black egg, and it really helps to use white-colored beeswax so you can see what you’re doing. Actually pencil lines will show up on the black egg if your light is good enough and you get the angle just right. I know some pysanky artists use a fabric marking pencil that is sort of like a white grease pencil. It will rub off easily so you have to be careful.

      The hardest part about doing black and white eggs is making sure your designs are strong. Because you don’t have the luxury of color, you have to get more creative with the middle values…fine and coarse netting, dots, wide and narrow lines. It took some practice to wrap my brain around that part, and I’m still learning as I go.

      My best advice? Try making a black and white egg, evaluate what you liked and didn’t like, and then make another one…and another one…and another one. You’ll figure out your preferences and what works best for you. And let me know how it goes.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

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