Friday, March 7, 2014

Linocut in Progress: Spot inking and the puffin

In my previous post I mentioned that I was doing some spot inking in the puffin's face. I've done this on several pieces before, but just in case you're new to the idea, here's a shot to clarify.

In this instance I have cut a mask from clear mylar. The opening doesn't have to be perfect, just large enough to allow inking access in the face while keeping stray ink out of places I don't want it. I run the roller over the selected area and remove the mylar to print. I replace it to re-ink the block each time, so using transparent film helps me get it in the right place.

Puffin linocut: Step 5, spot ink gray in the face.
Sorry I neglected to take a close-up at this stage.... you can't really tell much from this photo.

After the gray was applied in the face, I carved a wee bit more and then ran a transparent gray over the entire block.

Puffin linocut: Step 6.
The rocks are starting to take form. I wasn't totally satisfied with the value of the gray on the underside of the puffin's bill, so I let that portion of the block stand while I carved more rock and applied one more transparent gray.

Puffin linocut: Step 7

This print looks really blotchy, but that's a function of strange lighting, I think. I did remember to take a closeup at this stage so you can see all that's happening in our puffin's face. The yellow, orange, and red were all applied through the same mask, I just carved away more area each time... Sort of a reduction within a reduction, if that makes sense. The gray bits were inked using the second mask pictured above.

Step 7 closeup
I like how the rock looks at this stage, so I think I'll turn my attention elsewhere for a bit. There's some spot inking that needs to happen on the rock and then I'll tackle that big expanse of background.


  1. Wow! You are sooo patient. All these little masks are a pain in the butt, however, they do result in amazing details and colors. xxoo

  2. thank you for this detailed explanation of the masks!

  3. Sure makes me wish I paid more attention in grade school when we were warming our linoleum blocks by sitting on them...then again talent is also a big part of the picture. You are amazing.

  4. thank you for the close up :D its great to see the detail of one of your prints :)