Monday, September 23, 2013

Linocut in progress: Rocking the puffin

I suppose I should say "rocking and skying the puffin," but that just sounds ridiculous.

After spending a day or two enjoying the relative success of the first steps of this linocut (and letting the ink dry), it was time to re-enter unknown territory.

Puffin reduction linocut, Step 9
The next step was a bit of a shock, since I'd become so attached to the harmonious grays of all the previous steps (except that silly bill, of course). Here comes the voice again: "You've ruined it!" But the sky is more blue, and the rocks have the start of some lichen.

Puffin reduction linocut, Step 10
Wow. This step was scanned rather than photographed. Clearly there's a wide difference in color interpretation. The truth is probably somewhere in between, as the only thing that changed in this step was the addition of the darker ochre.

Puffin reduction linocut, Step 11
Back to the phone camera. (Sigh) I tried to tweak this one in Photoshop... it's a little closer to the actual palette than the others.

This step revisited the background. I had big plans to do something really interesting there... it's supposed to be sea rather than sky... but the rocks were getting so busy that I decided any more activity would just be overkill. Additionally, I was feeling some time pressure and had started to add some dryer to my inks. This speeds up the process... but it also can cause some issues with the way ink behaves. This felt like the limit of what the background would accept gracefully.

Everything feels quite awkward again. I wanted that blended background but I didn't want an extra layer of ink to influence the last two steps of the bird, so each time I inked the block I stopped and wiped sections clean before printing. The leading edge of the rock was wiped, no problem. The puffin, however, looks like a quail. I wiped the ink out of most of its body, but not from its tail, neck, or mantle before printing. I promise this will all work out in the end, but for the moment it looks very silly, doesn't it?

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