After spending a day or two enjoying the relative success of the first steps of this linocut (and letting the ink dry), it was time to re-enter unknown territory.
|Puffin reduction linocut, Step 9|
|Puffin reduction linocut, Step 10|
|Puffin reduction linocut, Step 11|
This step revisited the background. I had big plans to do something really interesting there... it's supposed to be sea rather than sky... but the rocks were getting so busy that I decided any more activity would just be overkill. Additionally, I was feeling some time pressure and had started to add some dryer to my inks. This speeds up the process... but it also can cause some issues with the way ink behaves. This felt like the limit of what the background would accept gracefully.
Everything feels quite awkward again. I wanted that blended background but I didn't want an extra layer of ink to influence the last two steps of the bird, so each time I inked the block I stopped and wiped sections clean before printing. The leading edge of the rock was wiped, no problem. The puffin, however, looks like a quail. I wiped the ink out of most of its body, but not from its tail, neck, or mantle before printing. I promise this will all work out in the end, but for the moment it looks very silly, doesn't it?