In the meantime, things continue to creep forward on the coot linocut.
Though you can rarely see this feature in the field, adult American coots sport a reddish eye and forehead "shield." They are tiny little things and not visible at a distance in either the field or on the print, but I wanted them anyway. It's a job for a little stencil and a stiff brush.
It's a bit more challenging to see what's happening here because I had clear rather than matte acetate at hand. If you look at the corner where the overhead lamp is reflected in the acetate, you can get an idea of what's happening. The clear acetate sheet has two small holes cut in it... one for the eye and one for the shield. I "pounced" the color directly onto each print with a stiff brush and a light touch.
And here is the result with the stencil removed. Get it? Got it. Good.
And now for the magic.
It's time to get some countering dark values into the water, and maybe a little more subtle shading into the bird. The dark values I need to add in the water are green, reflecting a pine tree, but I don't want the bird to start looking "pine-y." Enter our pre-school color theory education.
I mixed up this fabulous blue color. Rather bright and garish, don't you think? Suitable for perhaps balloons or clown costumes.
But I have this wonderful, fresh tub of transparent base, remember... and transparent base is a marvelous, magical thing. There's a healthy scoop of it in this blue. I inked the entire block with this transparent blue, which you can see on the left-hand side of the photo.
Here it is, all printed up! A little too subtle for the camera to show what's happening in the coot, but his shadows remain blue and the water reflection sure enough is green. I love magic, don't you?