Friday, July 1, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Purple, purple!

Things are at a fever pitch around here, as my departure for parts east is less than a week away and a few unanticipated minor crises have arisen.

I have, reluctantly, had to cancel a few commitments– but I think it was a good decision, since my body immediately responded to the drop in stress with uncontrollable sleepiness. I spent two days this week barely able to stay upright for three or four hours at a time. Can you say "exhausted"?

But Thursday I managed to stay awake long enough to get in to the studio and put a couple more layers on the snow scene linocut.

Step 5: Purple! I know it looks like blue, but it's really transparent purple over the existing blue layers. There are some subtle shapes starting to appear in the big expanse of shadow on the right– more a change of hue than of value.

Step 6: More purple! This time I added the tiniest bit of black to the pale lavender transparent ink, again trying to change hue but also to create a slight value change. You can see here how transparent the color is... it barely tints the lino block:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this image takes its inspiration from a photo in which the shadow shapes are just one flat blue. I'm trying to create more visual interest and a greater feeling of distance, but I'm making it up as I go along. (A technique known as the "Sherrie-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-don't-try-this-at-home" method.)

I'm pleased that it's starting to suggest some dimensional depth at this stage, although I'm still concerned about that big shape on the right. The temptation to put another value change at the base of the "hill" is high, but I wonder if it won't be too much. Only one way to know for certain, and that's to try it! Stay tuned.


  1. "(A technique known as the "Sherrie-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-don't-try-this-at-home" method.)"

    I thought that was how you always worked ;)

    but seriously, this is looking wonderful :)

    1. Shhhhhhhh! Don't tell anyone! ;-) (And seriously, thanks!)

  2. It looks like you do a reduction print.

    Do you ever do a multi block print? If so, how do you get the image on the second block?

    Do you always hand print or use a press? Oil or water based inks?

    I just love you colors and wanted to get back into printmaking :)

    I love your work by the way!

    1. Hi KD... thanks for taking the time to say hello!

      My prints are almost always reduction, but one way to transfer an image to a second block is to print the first block to something less absorbent (perhaps a highly-sized paper or piece of tracing paper), then print from the PAPER back on to the second block. You need a good registration system, of course!

      Until about a year and a half ago I printed entirely by hand. I finally got a big etching press... fun!

      Oil-based inks.

      :-) Thanks for your kind words about my work!