Friday, April 1, 2011

This print is looking just ducky!

Blame it on the wind, I guess. I'm still flopping about all over the place, restless as the air outside.

But it's the wind that kept me inside on an otherwise stellar day, so I guess I can thank it for the fine progress achieved on the current reduction linocut. Well, that... and the fact that three of the four colors I put down today involved very tiny sections.

Having learned my lesson (sort of) from complications caused previously by sloppy inking, I decided that the colors immediately following last week's blue would be inked using stencils. Good plan!

Hmm. Did you know there was a critter in this piece? I bet not. But a little light gray shape gave away most of the surprise immediately. (Color 6)

Next up: Little green shape. Very little green shape. Registration! Eek! (Color 7)

We're now on color #8... a sort of russet... So far, so good! (At this point I'm hollering at the DM from my studio: "I'm making duckies! I'm making duckies!" He is alternately laughing and rolling his eyes.)

I was going to wait to print color #9, but I was on a roll (printmaking pun not intended) and really wanted the satisfaction of a dark color to end the day. It's not the last pass, but we're getting very close now.

Unfortunately the camera isn't picking up the color very well under studio lights. The dark brown isn't as orange as it looks here.. in fact it has a fair amount of blue in it. (Nor does it have the weird shadow that appears in the detail shot below.) Darn digital cameras, anyway.

I haven't yet decided if I have one or two more colors to go. Mostly the final dark will define some details in the duck, but I'm not sure if I want a few subtle shapes in the upper right corner. It needs a little time to dry now, so I've got a day or two to make those decisions.

I'm really pleased that I went ahead with one more color today... it's hugely satisfying to look up at the drying rack and see an almost-finished new piece.


  1. Oooh! A mallard duckie--cool! Can't wait to see this print in person whenever we get home...

  2. Gorgeous! I love the shapes and colours in the water and the lovely ducky. Thankyou for sharing the masking inking stage too, I wondered how you did that.

  3. I love watching your work in progress. Wish I could stand beside you while you work.

  4. Yeah, Susan... a second home is supposed to be some place in Mexico or something, not a hospital.

    Lisa, I've decided that I quite like carving and printing water ripples (something I know attracts you, too!). Could be more of this in the future.

    Toni... I wish we could stand beside each other and work. Wouldn't THAT be fun?

  5. I'm learning lots...thanks! And I know what you mean about wanting to stop at a certain point...usually tho it's when someone reminds me we haven't eaten!

  6. I really like your stencil solution. Is that wax paper? Gorgeous green. I love the yellows too.

  7. Wax paper stencil! Cool - so simple and so obvious - now that I see it. Thanks.

  8. I actually did these stencils from glassine... I don't know how wax paper would do, except that I'm using oil-based inks so it probably would be okay. I've seen printmakers use mylar or butcher paper to make stencils (masks), too. Glassine was just what I had on hand that was translucent enough to see through to the block and thin enough that it cut easily with an Xacto knife. Glassine would, I think, be too delicate to cut more complex shapes in and have it hold up under inking. But it worked for 12 little duck parts at a time.

  9. Thank you for sharing your process. I'm speechless at how beautiful and delicate this print is. I live the golden water !

  10. duck!! :D

    the lighting in this print is amazing!

  11. Your print has taken so many twists and turns! I liked your use of a stencil for the duck -- it is hard to get so many different colors on the print when you are dong reduction printing. I'm planning a large stencil for my current Ragged Jack Kale print, but I may need use some mylar. Thanks for showing us your process.

  12. So lovely to see your process! Love this print.