Thursday, September 4, 2014

Linocut in Progress: Step 10? Seriously?

There is no good reason why I should be on step 10 of this linocut already. Nevertheless, here we are.

Still not satisfied with the darkest bits of the flower, I did some more carving and then applied a transparent olive green over the entire block. Really. Olive green.

The result is subtle, but necessary.

Steps 9 and 10 side-by-side. Subtle.

NOW I can walk away from the bloom. But of course that background has gotten extremely problematic. I originally thought it would be interesting to add more hatch marks at each step and build up a subtle texture... but it's flattening out the image rather than adding depth.

There are several options (aside from abandoning the image altogether):

1) Cut a second block that carries only the solid background and overprint. Potential registration headaches there.

2) Decide I can live with it and make more marks. Eh. Maybe. Could just make things worse.

3) Print an opaque color in the background that doesn't contrast with the hatch marks so they will become less noticeable. Okay, but I hate to lose the luminosity that's going on now. And what color would I print? Not that ocher-y thing... the flower would get lost.

.......... aaaaaaaand the thing I think I will try:

4) Filler. Yep. I think I'm going to try mushing some wood filler into the existing marks on the block and see what happens. I've used filler before, and ink doesn't adhere to it in the same way it adheres to the unadulterated linoleum, but I think I'd be happy with toning down the hatch marks instead of completely covering them. If it works, I might be able to get by with just one more color pass. If not... well... cross that flower-covered bridge when I come to it, I guess.

Paintbrush linocut: Step 10


  1. might be a daft question, but has the wood filler ever fallen out of the grooves you've out it in when you go to print the block?? or does it stay put?

  2. Hey Jen... I haven't had that experience, but it's been a while since I've tried the filler trick. I just got home yesterday and it will probably be a couple of days before I get to try this, so will keep you posted!

  3. thank you :) just curious in case I have to try the filler technique myself :)