Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Linocut in progress: common tern

Wow. Clearly I haven't printed in a while, since I seem to be hosting some new neck and shoulder aches. You what that means, don't you? Right. MORE PRINTING.

Common Tern linocut: Step 4
So here we are at Step 4. The image is emerging slowly, and I can't decide whether this is a function of thoughtful design or a chickensh#t approach. The first three grays are now swinging into the blue range.

Step 5
It took me several tries (and therefore several ditched prints) before I hit this value/color where I wanted it. It's still a transparent blend of blue and gray, more blue in the middle part of the image.

I like the idea of a delicate and graceful tern against all that crazy sky, but I have my doubts about my ability to pull it off. My goal* (*not plan, Andrew! ;-) is for the bird to come forward in the image but not seem like it's disconnected from its surroundings. More contrast in bird and less in background? Hopefully. There's also some color temperature to consider. If I warm up the shadow on the bird a bit, will it come forward or just look hokey? Stay tuned.

It's likely there will be many opportunities to try this bird-against-sky-and-waves** combination in the next few months, as I've committed to an exhibition of work about seabirds next summer. More on this as details come available... but think Maine in the summertime!

(**What? You don't see the waves yet? Don't worry, they're coming.)


  1. "whether this is a function of thoughtful design or a chickensh#t approach"

  2. Wow, I just regaled you with some fabulous puns, only to have them rejected. How rude! Perhaps it was supposed to be a message…(other than of the error-type).

  3. Ahhll bettah… So, sorry to hear your neck and shoulders have taken a "tern" for the worse. If it makes you feel any better, I'm alternating hot and cold packs on a pinched nerve in my neck. Oh! Almost missed my own pun: al-tern-ating! (It was punintentional…really!) Your tern…
    (I think I'm sliding rather nicely back into school mode!)

  4. Hi,

    I just came to your blog via a very roundabout path, and I must say that your work is stunning. I am about to dive into linocuts, and am trolling for inspiration, which is available in abundance. I just got back from a time in Mexico, where I was blown away by Mexican printmaking. Wow.