I took the little Florence sketch from the Staffordshire figurine in the Fitzwilliam and made 3 woodblocks to correspond with the 3 main tones and printed them… many times, just as an experiment.
The results were very interesting. Nothing wonderful but enough to make me think this is a good way to work.
Some of the overprinted details are lovely and unexpected.The different colours and weights of colour change both the atmosphere of the image and her “look”.I also made a little watercolour of the figure, just to get to know her better. I have a weakness for china figurines. Strange smooth shiny little people, often “idealised” versions of real people or classical figures, in pastel colours often with painted features that do not quite follow the contours of the model. Nice! More character and much more real in a way. Sometimes, people whose makeup has gone askew, look just like this!
I had a look at the real Florence Nightingale, who looked nothing like her china portrayal. The moon faced ideal of gentle Victorian beauty she was not, but a handsome, and uncompromising looking lady.