After a flirtation with satisfying "big ink" it's back to the bird. Tiny progress isn't nearly as exciting, but it's certainly important.
Ah, but THIS time I remembered to take some shots of the stencil, or mask, in use!
This is the third time I've employed the same coot-and-reflection-shaped hole in a sheet of acetate. Here it is on the linoleum block, with ink:
Here's the stencil removed from the block so you can see the shape:
And here's the inked area of the block, although a bit light because didn't remember to take a photo until after I had already printed the last sheet.
And here's the before-and-after result... another darker tone in the bird and reflection.
I also applied the coot's reddish eye color today. Another stencil, this one placed directly over the print itself. Color was "pounced" into place with a stiff brush. The dark ink was quite wet when I did this, which meant it offset to the stencil despite my delicate touch. Cleaning off the stencil after each use was imperative. Tedious. But imperative.
The stencil is a sheet of clear acetate, but perhaps you can see that my hand is holding one edge of it just off the paper. The thin black "alignment" marks were drawn on the acetate with a Sharpie permanent marker.
I think there are but three steps left for this one: Another multicolor pass in the water, then one last dark in the bird, then resolve the darker reflections on the left-hand side of the image. But you know me... could be more than that.