I've been lurking in the background of a few printmaking forums lately, and finding myself amused by discussions about reduction printing. They remind me of conversations about watercolor painting, which is to say that they are full of "shoulds" and "musts" and declarations about the innate difficulty of the process.
Certainly at this point I do not consider myself an expert, but I have enough experience with the process to feel reasonably comfortable and, as I mentioned in a previous post, ready to try to a little more experimenting. I shake my head at the folks who insist ink layers must be added in a certain order, who proclaim a limit to the number of workable layers or, better yet, who are adamant that thorough planning is imperative.
Giggle along with me: Planning? PLANNING? Who has time for PLANNING? If I spend 15 minutes outlining a basic idea of colors for an image and the order in which I might print them, I consider that pretty darn thorough. Which probably explains why most of my images end up with at least 2 more colors than I imagine and why my image development is all over the map sometimes. But since nothing ever turns out the way I imagine it in the first place, it seems either overly optimistic or futile to think too hard about the whole thing.
Granted, that's just me. I have to learn by doing, not by thinking about doing. A lot of people do like to plan, and they do so quite well and with fabulous results. But making set-in-stone proclamations about THE "right" way to do something... well.... For someone like me it's just an invitation to be contrary. ;-)
Two blended layers of ink and then a dark orange. "Oooh... pretty..." I think.
Which is, of course, why I next put a layer of very pale brown back over all that nice orange. "Hmmm.... interesting. Kind of a nice feel. Now what?"
A little bit darker tan, saving only small dried grass tips worth of that lighter color....
And next? Just one more layer, I think. Maybe. Probably. Could be. That's the plan. Right?