Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gannet linocut: Four "quick" steps

With all the brightest whites established in the first pass of this new linocut, I turned my attention to some details of the birds' heads. After taking so long to get to the details of the coot in the previous piece it's nice to get some personality established early in this one, although the final blacks of wingtips, eyes, and bills won't happen until the very end once again.

Step 2

Northern gannets have a beautiful yellow/pale ochre tint to their head feathers, so I tackled that next. The two small areas of the block were inked with a 1-inch-wide brayer and an acetate mask.

A wee bit more carving and a second, slightly darker ochre was applied using the same mask and 1-inch brayer.

Step 3

Okay, good. And now... the gannets' bills needed to be a wee bit more blue than the color that went down on the first pass. I cut a second mask and employed the 1-inch brayer one more time.

Step 4
Enough with the baby steps! After another good carving session it was time for the next tone in the underwings of both birds.

Step 5
Five colors done and I'm feeling pretty good so far. Of course, I'm starting to realize that I haven't really come to terms with what the background will be. Dark. Blues. Wave-ish. Hm. Better start applying some brain cells to the problem.


  1. I'm watching this in fascination, for the print/carve process that you explain so well, as I'm venturing into my own printmaking.

    But also for the birds themselves. Living in Newfoundland we have the largest breeding gannet site in North America and I've been there a few times and got some great shots of the birds which are amazing.

    Thanks for sharing your work.

  2. love the wing detail :D

    for a second after reading that title i thought you meant you were completely done after 4 colours, that couldn't be right ;)

  3. I'm liking the composition very much!