Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Halfway finished! (?)

Should I call it skepticism? Lack of faith? Cynicism? Maybe it's just experience talking, but I detect a certain amount of disbelief in my ability to carry out this linocut in a moderate number of color passes.

Okay, so your doubt is justified. Post-post (the period of time following my last blog post) I analyzed my drawn image and decided six passes were necessary. But I really am going to try to keep it to six. (I need this piece dry and frame-able in a short amount of time, for one thing.) I've been thinking lately about someone I used to work with... someone who despised meetings. (Which was unfortunate, since he was a government employee and therefore subject to an inordinate number of them.) He asserted that if a meeting or presentation went on longer than 45 minutes people were either repeating themselves or lying.

Hmmm. I wonder if that concept can be applied to linocuts.

So, six colors it is! I'm experimenting with other aspects of the process, anyway, so I need to keep it manageable. And, believe it or not, we're already halfway through!

Color #1 was a solid yellow. Just a rectangle. Yawn. Didn't take a photo.

Color #2 was something a bit more complex. There are leaves in this image that range from yellow to a sort of lime green, so I mixed two colors, rolled them up together to get a blend, and inked the block. The blend was only 2 colors on a 4-inch-wide brayer and this is a 6-inch-tall piece, so I inked in one direction and then in the other to get a green-to-yellow-to-green effect. Does that make sense? I wish I would have thought to take a photo of the roll-up on the inking slab so you could see what was happening. The colors were so transparent that they barely showed on the brayer or the block, but here you can see the result. In some areas the yellow intensified and in others the green was dominant, with pale yellow bits in between. Cool.

The variety in leaf color achieved with just two passes became a lot more obvious when Color #3 went down, a semi-transparent ocher-y color.

I'm feeling quite pleased so far. During the woodcut workshop earlier this month I learned just how ridiculously thinly I could apply ink to the block when using a press, so I'm challenging myself to make each hand-rubbed ink layer as thin as possible. So far I can't be quite as delicate in application... but I'm working on it.

The bummer is that I have to stop my momentum for a few days, as my schedule involves taking down an exhibition, going to an out-of-town client meeting, and going to a gig with the DM. (Have to see him SOMEtime.) Ah, well... we like a certain amount of suspense with our printmaking. Don't we?


  1. OK, now I'm hooked. I have to see how this turns out!

  2. I suppose I should be thankful I only do reduction prints once in a blue moon, so I don't have to worry about any color insanity!

  3. :-) Be careful, Scott. Could become habit-forming.

    Marissa... color insanity? We were lost the minute we moved away from black and white, face it.

  4. love that colour blend :D
    hmmm only 6? ;)

  5. The colour combination is beautiful, so subtle. I hope your back is better now.