Things haven't really gone wrong, they're just getting more complicated than I wanted. It's amazing to me that the last linocut, which was 18 x 18 inches in size, was completed in 10 color passes. This one, which is only 8 x 10 inches, is threatening 13 or 14 passes. Ooph.
Blah, blah, blah. Let's get on with it, shall we?
The background in my reference is very nebulous, very vague, which is a nice thing if you're a painter, but a little more challenging in linocut. I like the simple background, but how can I create a softer abstract effect in a hard-edged graphic medium?
In Step 8 I carved a few little hatch marks and then printed a blended roll from a sort of olive green to yellow.
For Step 9 I carved more little hatch marks and then lined up a blended roll with colors that I can only describe as "basic camouflage." I don't really know how it happened. (The little pile of minty toothpaste green at the top of the photo was not involved.)
|Camo colors, anyone?|
Of course it was all very transparent, so gave me something like this:
|Step 9 printed|
I had sort of hoped that would be enough for the background (optimistic fool that I am), but before I could make that judgment I needed to reprint the darker rust color that was stripped out of the chipmunk a couple of passes ago.
|Step 10 rollup|
Once again, I only want the color on the critter, so a sloppy inking and another mask were employed.
|Step 10, chippy-only mask|
And the color looks a little better. It cost me time and a color pass, but I'm glad I did it:
|Step 10 printed|
Of course now it's clear that I need at least a few darker bits in the background, but I didn't want to put another mask across the chipmunk and strip the fresh color again. So I did quite a bit more carving and printed a flat transparent gray across the entire block.
|Step 11 rollup|
|Step 11 printed|
Okay. Now the balance of dark is better but unfortunately the shadow color in the chipmunk looks completely washed out! Time out while I try to decide if it's worth cutting a second block to overprint some shadow areas.
(Full disclosure: At the time I am typing (Friday the 25th) the entire image and edition are complete. The deadline is three days away, but I was so desperate to be finished that I worked several 14-hour days in row. Sorry you'll have to wait a few more days for the outcome, but I couldn't write blog posts and print at the same time. Think of it as time travel. Backwards to go forwards. Or something like that.)