Monday, October 3, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Lots of it now!

Last time on "Linocut, The Next Step(eration)"*....

Our heroine had tweaked her neck and back and lost of couple of studio days, but she's back at it and making progress. Slower than hoped for, but this time it's not been a physical delay. It's been a mental one. Just watch:

As soon as my gimpy-ness subsided I dove as fast as I could into the next color pass. With the success of the previous light-green-to-light-ochre roll I decided to do another. This time I rolled a darker green blended to a darker ochre. Because, you know... value changes.

Step 5, another green-to-ochre blended roll

I was feeling rather satisfied until I realized what I had just done. These large foreground tree trunks are supposed to be LIGHT. Not white, but certainly a lot lighter than they are now. I had intended to run a solid white pass on the trunks before this stage, but I was so twitchy to get back to work that I just plain forgot. [Insert bleepable words here.]

Nothing to do except print the white now. I knew it wouldn't get me where I wanted to be, but at least it would be a start. I rolled a plain white ink onto the trunks and part of the lower foreground and...

Step 6, solid white pass, masked

Like I said. Not where I wanted to be. A day or two of pacing around ensued. How the heck was I going to salvage THIS mess?

By doing what I should have done from the beginning. I slowed down and took the time to cut some masks. First step - Trace the trunk shapes onto clear acetate.

I cut the shapes out of the acetate sheet and then traced them multiple times onto newsprint and cut them out again. Voila! Custom masks.

I needed to make another white or mostly white pass, but I decided I should resolve the lower part of the image first. This meant lots of pesky masking for a couple of stages, but it's my own darn fault.

Step 7 blended roll

But, hey. Here's a weird little blended roll. I wanted some shadows below the background trees and I needed to keep the grasses light. Note that the ink is only rolled across the lower part of the block.

Step 7, inked and masked

And here are the masks in place. Foreground tree trunks and the top of the block are masked off. I decided to run the dark blue higher on one side for more variety in the background leaves.

Step 7 printed

Things were firmly in the ugly duckling stage at this point and I was trying hard not to panic. Geez. More pacing. More masking. And another brownish-to-ochre pass along the bottom.

Step 8 printed

Okay. Now we're getting somewhere. Time to try to lighten the foreground trees and create some paler trunks in the background. This pass was white, tinted with a little reddish-brown to counter the minty-green mess.  Careful inking and masking got the color where I wanted it on the block. Tedious, but necessary.

Step 9 printed

Alrighty, then. I am finally feeling like I might be able to salvage this mess. A couple of the foreground trunks will retain this color, but some of them will also get one more light pass. Before that can happen I need to resolve the grasses in the lower part of the image so I can carve all that material out and be done with it.

Trying to work light and dark simultaneously with a zillion little tiny bits to carve has given me worse brain freeze than a supersize slushy and I'm ready to move on. I hope this print is ready to come with me.

(*If you don't get it, I'm not going to explain it to you. But if you DID get it, I bet you read it in Majel Barrett's voice, didn't you?)


  1. Lwaxana! loved her hair :) lol anyway, you have the patience of a saint to go threw all of that :)

    1. :-) Why am I not surprised that you got it?

      My sainthood is far, far away, I can assure you, if for no other reason than the language I use when I get myself into image-challenging corners. ;-)

    2. of course I should know lol couldn't call myself a sci lover is I didn't lol

      im sure saints of old probably turned the air blue when they thought no one was around :p