|Merganser exploration under way|
Slowly but surely I approach the big (18 x 24-inch) merganser linocut. Lino is trimmed and sanded. Composition is more or less determined. I'm thinking about color passes and their order. The first one or two will be straightforward... and then I suspect all heck will break loose.
I love mergansers, although I don't see them very often here in my patch outside of migration season. This time of year my glimpses of mergansers are usually confined to the river (as they will be in this lino), or flying overhead.
I've been familiarizing myself with common merganser head shapes, particularly those of the female, because she will be the main subject. I've been digging through what reference photos I have and also making some sketches from interesting-looking images I find on the web, just to see what my options are. For the record: merganser head shapes are ridiculous.
Female common mergansers have amazing rust-colored feathers on their heads, which can be raised or lowered and create all sorts of bizarre-looking shapes. Try a Google image search and you'll see what I mean.
I think the birds in my print will have fairly smooth heads, although I am toying with the idea of giving one of them a punk rock 'do. I like the one in the top center of this page for starters, but the lower left could be fun. The overall mood of the piece is going to be relatively quiet, though. (At least I hope it will.) Punk rock might not fit the theme.
This afternoon I'll start prepping the paper and hopefully make some final decisions about the composition so I can get it drawn up and on the block. It would be great to be rolling some ink by Monday.