Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Those pesky greens

Ugh... this is taking longer than I wanted it to. I do keep telling myself that it's all in the name of Art, but this Art fellow is going to need the witness protection program when I'm through with him.

Because now I'm fussing with greens.

I thought I had a brilliant idea to create a blended roll from left to right in the image, dark to light.

It wasn't a horrible idea, but I was still kind of attached to that pale green in the upper right. It's not good to get attached to a particular color in an area that hasn't really been resolved in the design stage. (Bad Sherrie.) I compromised by cutting a rough mask to protect that upper right corner and added a mid-green everywhere else.

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 8

Okay. Workable, although this green felt... cheap. A bit wimpy. Thankfully I  wasn't going to keep a lot of it.

I tried the blended roll idea– dark to light, left to right. (Oooh! Poetry!) Meh. Not really what I wanted.

Instead I did a top-to-bottom roll that was, believe it or not, a very pale transparent blue to a darker green with a fair bit of brown in it.

Step 9

Hm. Okay, but I was still avoiding the problem of the background. I started carving away some more bits, with an eye to printing a blue-grayish color next... but GEEZ. The block was getting really confusing at this point. Don't tell anyone, but I decided it was time to grit my teeth and engage the P word. (shudder) Planning.

I've done this a few times, to tell the truth... and it's helpful for everything except my impatience. I took the image above and flipped it in Photoshop so it was the same orientation as my block. I printed an 8" x 10"-ish version from the computer, got out my trusty pencil, and started filling in shapes so I could see what NOT to cut. (If you click on this image you'll get a slightly larger version and hopefully get a better idea of what I'm talking about.)

"Mapping" the next pass with pencil.

It's getting close, although I still haven't come to grips with that darn background. I think I have one side sorted out, but the other... well. You can see I've even been experimenting with some swoopy abstract shapes, but I'm not sold on them.

With perseverance I might be ready to print again tomorrow, although I would encourage you not to hold your breath.

In the meantime... I thought you might be amused to see one of my "testers" on this project. I started with 24 prints, but of course several of them will not be part of the edition because they've been used for color tests. This particular print is the very first one in every color run, and you can see I've made some alarmingly bad first choices. You can also see what a print looks like with out the laborious masking that I've been doing. Lovely green flower centers, don't you think?

I think it looks like some sort of 1960s or 70s wallpaper. With a little metallic ink it will be ready for someone's retro bathroom.

Color test. A wee bit over the top, wouldn't you say?


  1. yes, thats what the lat print reminds me of! either wallpaper or fancy tea towels that you are nor supposed to use lol

  2. LOL, indeed. I know the very tea towels of which you speak. ;-)