Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Linocut in Progress: Pussyfooting around

Never thought I'd use the word "pussyfooting" in... well... anything, to tell the truth. But I'm making a linocut of a cat and I'm sneaking around trying to avoid it...so...

On Sunday when the forecast called for 70% chance of snow and all we got was gray and cold and about 4 flakes, I decided to tackle the little bit of spot inking required for eyes, nose, and tag. It's important that the eyes not look opaque, so even though the overall tone of the print is a kind of beige, I'm still going to use very transparent color.

Transparent watermelon-y inks.

Just because it's transparent doesn't mean it's not going to be fun. Watermelon colors! I bet you can guess which is for the eyes.

Spot ink rollup

These colors only have to be in the smallest of areas, and luckily they are separated enough on the image that I can roll them both up at the same time. And print through a mask, of course.

Cat peeking through a mask. Why does this seem so typical?

Something about cat eyes peering out from two little holes just makes me think of every cat-in-a-box or cat-in-a-hamper or cat-in-a-sofa photo that runs across the interwebs.

Bitsy, reduction linocut, Step 4

Well, that was satisfying. The eyes seem just right... transparent and reflective. The tag eventually wants to be a darker red, I think, but this color is good for the highlights.

And then... OOPS! I apparently neglected to take a photo of Step 5! I wanted some subtle texture in the fur, so did a fair bit of carving and printed a slightly darker gray-brown. Sorry you missed it!

Once that was in place I decided it was time to do something about the background color. I don't often use reddish tones, being a sort of blue-green girl, so I decided I'd step out of my comfort zone and put a sort of dull red in the background. I cut a newspaper mask to cover all the cat, but of course I neglected to take a photo of that, too. Not very helpful, am I?

Mask in place, I took a deep breath....

Bitsy, reduction linocut, Step 6

I think I like it! Although I did notice that the color looks a lot like the light red of her ID tag, so I might have printed both at the same time... but no matter. It's the same number of steps either way, and the tag will ultimately be darker, anyway.

Two... maybe three steps to go!