Friday, April 6, 2007

Monarch, milkweed and my week

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.


  1. Great is amazing to see how you do the print. This one is really magnificent! Good job...

    Thanks for showing the steps...I have seen it before, as you probably know, but it is neat to see how you did the butterfly and the plants.


  2. I love it---both the sequence and the print.

  3. Thanks... and thanks! It was a fun little piece to do. Now let's see... what's next?

  4. Sherrie, how fun to see these photos! Your show really does look great, and I am sorry I missed the opening. Nice to "bump" on the sidewalk though. Congrats on your blog!

  5. Good show Sherrie! And I really like the branch shadows print you just finished.