Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Linocut demo: Gerenuk, part 2

But wait, there's more! You didn't really think I'd leave off after the previous post, did you?

There was a lot more fur to carve, so my skinniest tools got a workout. And I should have known that last week's studio sweeping/vacuuming efforts wouldn't last long. All those tiny lino chips are everywhere.  Again.

I twiddled around with the Step 5 color for a long time, but never really got to what I wanted. Several variants emerged, all of which had some merits. I liked the version in the upper right best, but didn't hit it until I was almost out of prints.

Clearly this is a situation that highlights the limits of reduction printing. If I had carved an individual block for each color I could have gone on experimenting until I ran out of paper or ink or both and still have been able to create a viable edition once I sorted out the color palette. (When my new shipment of supplies arrived, that is.)

But the moment I started carving for the second color pass I was limited to the number of prints pulled at the first stage. And since I'm keeping one print from each step in reserve as an example for the demonstration.... well... There's not much room for mucking about.

Step 5

In the end I had the most consistent prints in this color palette, so the image will move forward from here.

Almost all those noodly little cuts that suggested fur were cleared out with a flat gouge for Step 6.

I debated the next color for quite a while. The darkest bits of the image are details of the gerenuk's face, but leaving them for last (when only those wee bits of block material would remain) would make final registration more challenging. I could have cut masks and done some selective inking, but I wanted this piece to be a straightforward demonstration of reduction printing.

Hm. Okay. Let's try this.

Step 6

Let's go for the big drama early, and then mess with people's minds later.

I could call it finished at this point. (Hahahahahah! Right.) OR I could carve for one more even darker dark (a straight-up black, I suppose).

OR I could consider doing something a bit wild and crazy and make the next pass lighter. Hmm. Could be interesting....


  1. To quote a Cockney friend...it's doin' my head in!

  2. I am teaching myself to linocut and stumbled across your blog. I'm now an addict. I find it endlessly fascinating watching and learning the processes you go through to create your beautiful prints. You are so generous to patiently share the details of your work, the thinking and deliberations you go through in each creation. Thank you so much for sharing it all.