Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a linocut!

Alrighty, then! Back to work. My technique still feels a bit wobbly after entirely too much time away from the print bench, but just like a long walk after too much sitting every step feels stronger.

I am scheduled to give a demonstration during the "Artists in Action" portion of the Birds in Art opening weekend at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, so I decided I'd tackle a "simple" bird. One that I could have mostly finished before the event so my demonstration would reveal the dramatic finish.


In theory I did choose a "simple" bird... it's a gull, for heaven's sake. White and gray and black with a yellow bill. But if you've been reading Brush and Baren for any length of time, you know that I have a gift for turning simple into complicated. It's one of my best skills, actually.

Here's how it's gone so far:

The first two colors were done with a mask. Just the bill and a ring around the eye. Easy peasey.

And then a light gray.

So far, so good. But of course I knew I needed a second gray. Interestingly enough (to me, anyway), I didn't mix a new gray. The first one had a LOT of transparent medium... in fact the ink was mixed with no white at all, just black and transparent medium. So a second transparent layer over the first made a nice, subtle change.

And then a third gray. This time I added a touch more black to the already-mixed ink, just to step up the contrast with the lower layers.

Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided on one more color before the obligatory waiting-for-ink-to-dry stage. A very transparent blue.

Clearly this is already more complicated than I wanted for my demonstration piece, but that's okay because I realized at this stage that it CAN'T be my demonstration piece.

I've been printing using my large registration jig– not the small, portable one. I have to finish printing on the same jig I started with or the registration won't work! (sigh) Oh, well. Guess that means I'll have to start another print this weekend. Darn.*

(*That was sarcasm.)


  1. Not laughing,Sherrie.Oh, no, because I carved something without reversing my cartoon.
    Big sigh...

  2. Just as well as that leaves you to finish this as you'd like, and not pressured by your demonstration.

    This is already quite lovely, rich and textured--I was quite impressed by how much interest you managed to get by your second pass--the light grey.

    I like the wood-texture thing going on with the area below the bird and the two-tone yellow beak.

    If this is what you can do when you are "rusty" you should keep taking time off.

  3. Oh, no... you wouldn't laugh, Dinahmow! ;-) (C'mon, I heard you chortling clear in the other hemisphere.)

    Thanks, Andrew. I'm at the paranoia stage, now. I like where it's going... but can I hold it together?

  4. I love what the transparent blue does...brightens up the grey and pops out the yellow bill/eye.

    And why is it that simple and easy, so easily gets complicated?

  5. What you learned about printing reflections on water seems like it's informing what you're doing with this gull. It's a beautiful and interesting already!

    Too bad you "have to" start another print this weekend. It's a hard life being a printmaker, but someone's got to do it. Good thing you don't have a deadline or anything.... (Hah!)