Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Warbler linocut finished!

I'm pleased to report that I'm already meeting one of the goals of the move to Studio V! Separating art-making from business and illustration/design work is turning out to be the great thing I hoped it would be. This morning I went straight to the studio and spent most of the day there, stopping only for a short lunch break with the DM. The result of uninterrupted time?  Three (and a half) color passes and completion of a new linocut. YAY!

Of course, I'm still tripping over myself with little details like remembering to take photos. And despite new lamps I'm still not happy with the lighting situation in the space, but, hey! I'm getting stuff done anyway.

Rather than send you back to see where this piece was last week, here's a quick image reprise:

First four passes: Yellow, blue, transparent gray (stenciled),
and a green that was supposed to be a blend but didn't
work out exactly as I planned.

Before we left for the Front Range last week I had printed the
fifth pass. This was a transparent salmon-y color and I
quite liked the resulting warmth that came to the greens.

Whose idea of color mixing was THIS?

Yesterday I carved some more into the background area of the block, and this morning I was ready to print. I still had some of that salmon color left from last week, so I decided to use it in a blended roll with a transparent dark green. What!?!? Ugly on the inking slab, but OOOH!!!! Happy.

 At this point I considered carving and printing some more transparency in the background, but forced myself to exercise some restraint. (Not one of my best skills.) I liked how the bird was melding with the background, but I wanted to try something different and get it to stand forward.

I forgot to take a photo of the gray pass that came next. Bird and wire only, nothing changed in the background.

And then the moment of truth. I considered printing the border of this print in the darkest color, but I so liked the way it reflected the blend of the background colors that I opted to leave it alone. For this pass I ran a dark gray across the underside of the tail and wings and then black over the upper parts of the bird and the wire. After I had them all done I decided the bird's legs needed to be the darker black, so I very carefully inked only the legs and printed them in one last pass.

I think I took this shot before the black legs were done, but you get the idea. Once it's good and dry I'll make a nice scan and put it up here.

Overall I'm happy with this piece. The three shapes along the bottom edge were supposed to have been darker (that blended green that I wasn't thrilled with 'way back at color 4), but I don't find them horribly distracting. Subtlety still eludes me... but it feels like I made some steps in that direction with this print.

There's another new piece ready to roll (printmaker pun), but there are contract projects demanding attention, too. (sigh) So much to do, so little time.


  1. LOVE it, Sherrie! The sweet little bird really comes forward. Well done. 3 and a half colors in one day is impressive!

  2. I admire your printmaking work Sherrie. May I ask how you're able to print so many color passes in one day, given ink drying times? It's a wonderful print! Thanks.

  3. What a great print. I'm so glad you are enjoying your new studio so much. Have a great week.

  4. What a lovely print. I like the simplicity of the background -- stylized, yet it gives the impression (too many printmaker puns) of detail. The bird pops really well.

  5. Thanks, everyone!

    Boarding All Rows: The trick with oil-based inks is to roll out as thin a layer as you can. I've done as many as 5 passes in a day on a press... and 3 (and a half) by hand. The other consideration is how much area is covered by each pass. The last two colors of this print appeared only in the bird and the wire, so I didn't have to worry about color rejection over a wide area.

    I couldn't have done any more to the bird in one day, that last little pass to "fix" the legs met with some lifting.

  6. every time i see one of your prints i am amazed at the detail you can get with them. this is a really nice looking print :)

  7. I would like to buy one for myself for Christmas. What should I do?