Enter the female buffleheads in this image. Overall the females are brown, but on their breasts and bellies they are light gray, almost white in some places. Up to this point every color pass has been very much on the blue end of the spectrum, and I want to warm things up a bit. I could have, and probably should have, masked some of this blue out in earlier stages, but I was so involved in thinking about the water that I just let it slide.
Now I have to contend with that decision.
I cut a newsprint mask that would cover every part of the block except the two female birds and the beaks of the males. I inked only the birds before printing, but the mask helped to keep extraneous color from going where I didn't want it, AND it protected the prints from the uninked areas of the block.
This pass was a solid white.
|Bufflehead linocut in progress: Step 7|
You might be saying to yourself, "Um... I thought she said she printed white?"
I did, but I didn't want to apply the ink too heavily (I've got at least three more colors to put on these females) so the thin layer of white looks gray. I thought it would be okay, but I was out of the studio for a couple of days and when I got back I decided it was a little too dark. And still too blue.
So I hit those same areas again with a white that had just a little brown added.
|Bufflehead linocut in progress: Step 8|
THAT's the tone. Not much of this will remain, except in beaks and the breast of the lower female, but it's a good undertone for the light brown bits that will come next.