Japanese artist Mikio Watanabe is one of the top mezzotint artists in the world. Focusing mostly on subtle, elegant female nudes and suggestive imagery, he achieves incredible degrees of subtlety and detail simply by varying the levels of light and dark tones.
Japanese artist Mikio Watanabe is a master at mezzotint print making. Using a serrated tool called a rocker, which looks similar to a rounded chisel, Watanabe makes thousands of tiny pits in a copper plate. The artist then scratches the image into the plate and burnishes (smooths) certain areas with varying degrees of pressure. Ink is then added to the plate and wiped off. When pressed onto the paper, the pits and rougher areas hold the ink and show up as darker tones while the smooth areas show up lighter. Watanabe achieves incredible degrees of subtlety and detail simply by varying the levels of light and dark tones. As with most mezzotints, there is no substitute for seeing these prints first hand.
Born in 1954, the Mikio studied art in Tokyo. He subsequently moved to France in the late 1970's where he joined a studio to learn engraving. Choosing mezzotint as his preferred method, Watanabe has dedicated his career to the craft. Focusing mostly on subtle, elegant female nudes and suggestive imagery, the artist has had numerous shows both in Europe and the US. His artwork is in the permanent collections of several museums.
We have a beautiful collection of Mikio Watanabe's original mezzotint prints available for sale below:
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