Saturday, February 2, 2013

So close, and yet so far...

I don't know. Maybe the reason I always end up adding more and more color passes to my linocuts is that I'm too much of a chickensh@# to make a bold step and be done with it.

It's not because I don't want to finish this image! I've started carving on another piece and have two or three others in the Waiting-For-Sherrie-To-Get-Brave stage. (Well, there's also the matter of the Waiting-for-Paper-Order-To-Arrive stage.) But here we are, two color passes after the last time I checked in, and it looks like at least two more passes to go. (sigh)

I liked the subtle greens that appeared in the previous (transparent blue) pass, but after sitting with the piece for a day or two I decided they were just a bit too subtle. More! I wanted more.

So I inked a funky little green-blue-yellow roll that blended from left-to-right and then repeated it. This left a hard line that I didn't appreciate, so before I pulled each print I softened the "seam" with a paper towel.

I did like the way it expanded the color variety and seemed to set the bird more solidly into its environment.

(Funky photo angle. The prints are flat on the table and I'm holding the camera over my head. Apparently not a good technique.)

At this stage I thought I'd resolve the entire left side of the image in one fell swoop. Didn't quite work out that way. I carved and carved and carved and then opted to roll an intermediate transparent khaki-greenish color over the entire block to pull things together.

(Slightly improved prints-on-table-camera-overhead technique. This one is embiggenable if you click on it.)

So. From here? There's one last dark pass to go in the bird, but I think that will come at the very end. Most of that medium green on the left is destined to be a step or two darker as well, but I want to be sure it isn't overpowering.

This is one of those times when I think it would be nice to be an oil painter and know that I will be able to repaint sections if they don't work. Or even a multi-block printer, able to tackle the edition over again at a different time. But nope. Reduction printer. And the end game starts now.


  1. There appears to be a vertical panel of lighter color over the bird. Like the blend didn't blend enough...may be just in the photo but not to one's eye. (Or should I just pipe down?) I believe it will be another inspirational water piece that I will hold up on a pedestal no matter how many more colors you print.

  2. Hey Wendy... it's definitely a little lighter over the bird, but not as pronounced in "real life" as it is in the photo. The (ahem) last pass should break that up a bit more.

  3. How many more colours/passes was that Sherrie?? ;)

    It's looking bloomin' marvellous already. Can't wait to see the final result when the bird has his darker tone/s.


  4. Ooo, the addition of the green is scrumptious. I know through the process you have doubts and hold your breath and wish you were an oil painter but I love watching it all come together pass after pass. Thanks for providing us with front row seats.

  5. but being a reduction printer is more fun, miss-aligned prints, stabbing your self with the cutters, why change that ;) and oil paints stink :p

    i thought about using multiple blocks, would make registration easier, but thats no fun. i like the suspense of knowing if a print will work or you will be stuck with dozens of duds :p

    its looking really good, the ripples are wonderful