Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Where were we?

Apparently there were 6 layers of blue on this snow scene linocut when I left for parts east at the beginning of July.

As a reminder, here's where things stood when I shut the door on the studio:

Step 6 recap

With almost two months to hang on the rack undisturbed, all of the prints-in-progress were of course quite dry. I was marginally worried about this, as it's possible to have adhesion problems when previous ink layers are TOO dry ("dry rejection"). I added a small amount of Setswell compound to a bit of the last purple-blue ink I'd saved from June (!!!), added a little bit of black, mooshed it all in to some additional transparent base, et voila:

Step 7

Everything went so smoothly that I tried to go ahead and print another color yesterday. The results were less than perfect, so rather than carry on and risk trashing too many prints, I cleaned everything up and went to bed. Or tried to go to bed. I'd had a weird craving for iced coffee in the afternoon, which I indulged and then regretted. There are reasons I don't drink much caffeine.

This morning I indulged not in iced coffee but in "pajama printing," which I haven't done in ages. I rolled out of bed, threw my apron on over my pjs and set to work.

It was all more challenging than I expected! Like a scene from some warped version of The Three Bears, the first color I mixed was too dark, the second too light. However, Goldilocks did not strike printmaking "just right-ness" on the third try, either. Nor on the fourth. I trashed several prints and did a lot of scraping and stripping and reprinting before I finally settled on this:

Step 8
The differences might be hard to identify at first, but look in the middle distance. The tree trunks are now in front of the snow bank, and there's a slightly darker bit even further back.

Now I think it's finally time to be done with blues, hooray! The next step might be the "ugly duckling" stage, as I will have to lighten up most of the tree trunks before adding more darks. In all I think it's coming along okay... and I'm hoping to be finished with it by next week. I need a brand-spankin'-new piece for a September 1 deadline, and this is (hopefully) going to be it!


  1. The print just comes alive more with each layer! Nice!

    1. It all feels really good until I have to start putting in colors that aren't blue. Eek! Cue dramatic music.

  2. Sherrie, when you Strip, do you put the newsprint between the Registered print and the registered plate ??? and thanks so much for this Post.... answered a couple of my other problems ;-]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

    1. Hi Fay... The answer is sometimes. If you want to strip the entire print, then just stick it on a pile of newsprint and run it through without a block.

      But stripping can lighten the pulled-up color, so in this case I ran it with newsprint between registered plate and registered print so that it would only strip the areas where I was going to put ink next. Does that make sense?