Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mallard linocut - next steps

I realized after I posted the last series of photos that I kept talking about "the stencil" but I never showed it to you. Of course now I'm past the point where it's being used, but just to set the record straight, here 'tis.

Just as in the last piece, No Time Like the Present, I cut the silhouette of the ducks from a sheet of "medium" weight (.005 m) mylar. It's sturdy enough to be run over multiple times with a brayer, but not so thick that it causes a halo of ink. It can also be cleaned and reused, which was important for this piece.

Following on from the previous post, the stencil (of which acquaintance you now enjoy) was employed to apply a second, darker brown to the lino block for both the male and female ducks. (Colors 11 and 12.)

Two browns, colors 11 and 12.

And then printmaker documentation error occurred. The breast of the male and the upper back of the female received another layer of reddish-brown... but apparently I missed taking a photo. Sorry 'bout that.  (Color 13, absent without leave.)

At that point the female was finished, but there was one more pass for the male, a dark blue-black. (Last use of the stencil for inking, Color 14.) At this point I also printed the male's foot, which I accidentally missed earlier when I printed the female's foot. It's a slightly different orange, so technically I guess it's Color 15. Oh, my!

Blue-black and orange, colors 14 and 15. And a crummy photo.

And now the head-scratching phase. I have a great, complicated reference photo for the reflection of water off of the fishing dock at our nearby lake that I want to incorporate here. I love the graphic pattern of it, but the color in my reference is very blah and gray. Clearly we are looking over the edge of something for our view of this pair, so there must be some sort of lovely reflected sky... right?

I cleared the remaining bits of duck from the block and printed a light blue.

Light blue, color 16.
Much, much carving ensued, and then another blue.

Medium blue, color 17.

We're (ahem) treading uncharted waters after this. Not entirely sure where to go with the next color. I think there are only two left at this point... although if I come up with three that will make an even 20. Ridiculous, really... My next print is going to be 5 colors, max.


  1. This print is looking stunning, but five colours for your next one. I'll believe that when I see it.

  2. Ho, ho, ho, Sherrie, 5 colours!!! I'll eat my hat :)

  3. Oh, ye of little faith! Okay, I probably agree with you... but I can dream, can't I?

  4. can we start taking bets on how many colours the next one will actually be? ;p