Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Linocut in Progress: Swallows for the win

It's funny (in an annoying, frustrating, hair-pulling sort of way) how the steps that I think will be the "easiest" turn out to be the real challenges, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Case in point: These swallows. After all that mucking around with bits of green and the blends in the sky... a couple of browns in the branches and birds ought to have been no problem, eh?

Here's a nice transparent brown ink.

And here's the lovely gray that came out of it.

Swallow linocut, Step 9

I wasn't surprised it didn't look very brown, but I was surprised it was so gray! But I went ahead and ran it on the whole edition since I thought it might make a nice base to transition the OTHER browns on to. And a little gray in the branches wouldn't hurt anything.

Swallow linocut, Step 10

Now this is brown, but it took forever to hit the right value. Several prints were sacrificed to sort this out. My first attempt was WAYYYYYY too dark. (This image looks a little too red overall... the right edge of the branch is probably closest to real color.)

I also discovered a few things about the branch that I didn't like very well, but it's a little late to do anything about it. I'm going to keep those to myself and hope you don't notice them.

And finally...

Violet-green swallows need a title! Help! Embiggenable with a click, as always.
So now all it needs is a title. I chose these two bird postures because together they seemed calligraphic and reminded me of a Chinese character. Of course my Chinese is lousy (read: non-existent) so it took a while to figure out what it was. Ah ha! The number 8! Regarded as lucky in both Chinese and Japanese cultures, and there is also ashtanga yoga, the eight-fold path. There's something to be said here, but I haven't quite sorted it out yet. Ideas?

Ultimately this pair may have a destiny beyond this particular edition...but I can't say anything until I know for certain. You'll just have to come back later to find out!

1 comment:

  1. So not only is Violet-green Swallow my favorite bird, but 8 is my favorite number.