I think I've finished the last new piece for the exhibition at cultureclash next week! Hooray! Now I just have to hope that it dries in time to get fit in the frame. It's a little reduction linocut of a monarch from a sketch I made last summer down by the river, and for once I had the presence of mind to take photos as the process unfolded.
In a reduction linocut, the entire print is made from one block. For each successive color more material is carved away, so there's no going back.
Step one: The first color will ultimately only be seen on the underside of the butterfly's wings, but it lays the groundwork for the entire image. I carved away everything that was to remain the color of the paper. (Which is white, although in these shots it looks dark.)
Step two: A little more carving, and I can put down the color for the milkweed blooms and the underwing orange. That's the block on the left, the print on the right. Since the orange and pink colors are completely separate from each other in the final print, I can ink up both at the same time and save myself a step.
Step three: A bit more carving, and the leaf colors can go down. The blended greens were created by careful rolling with the brayer.
Last pass: Remove all the material from the block except those areas that will print black. And voila! Monarch and milkweed.