Friday, June 24, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Blue, blue, blue

And then more blue.

The image I'm working on is inspired by a photo I took several winters ago on the Phantom Canyon road below Cripple Creek. I like the pattern of light and dark in the photo, but the camera recorded the shadows as a single, flat blue. Okay in a photo, boring in a linocut.

So my goal is to print some variety, but I'm scratching my head over which bits to take out when.

Step 2, easy enough:

Looking okay, but the blue feels a little bright. For the next pass I took the scraps of this color and added some burnt sienna (color turned greenish) and purple (back towards a grayed-down blue).

As you can see, the ink is very transparent. Just in case you haven't noticed yet: I love transparent color.

Step 3 printed:

I definitely like the color and value of this pass, but I'm still not ready to chop out huge sections of shadow. So I carved out a few more small areas, added a wee bit more violet to the existing ink, and printed again. Step 4:

This particular pass was done in front of a live studio audience... sort of. I needed some new process shots for a presentation I'm doing next month, so a friend came over to take some photos while I worked. I rather liked this "reveal" image with a little Instagram filter effect. (Which... surprise! Is now in my Instagram feed.)

Reduction linocut color pass #4 reveal
So what's next? More blue, I'm afraid. But first I have to frame up some wee Bitty Birds for this weekend's Salida Art Walk. Yes, I DID do some before now... but the gallery just sent a message that they sold a couple today, so I need to replenish before tomorrow night. A good problem to have!


  1. I love how transparent base is your friend. Have you triend Gamblin's? It is buttery smooth and not so sticky. (Just wondering.)

    1. I bought some Gamblin's but haven't tried it yet. I bought their white, too... it sits here waiting for me to decide I need something opaque! ;-)

  2. Its great to have photos of you working, proves you are not a robot ;)

    I love all the blues but don't envy you having to print it all

    1. Robot? What. Makes. You. Think. There. Might. Be. A. Robot. Here? Does. Not. Compute. ;-)