Sunday, January 12, 2020

Linocut in Progress: Everything but the bird

It's a good thing I like blue, because there's been a heckuva lot of it going on in the studio for the last week and a half.

I entertained this vague hope that the next color pass on the water would be the final one, but, alas. T'was not so. But it was still satisfying to continue pushing the sense of depth by strengthening the foreground contrast.

It took me a couple of tries to get the dark right, and in the end I had a two-value blue blend across the entire block. Of course this was the one stage at which I forgot to take a photo of the ink rollout, so I can't show it to you. My bad.

Still.... it's looking pretty good, eh?

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 6

I'm rather irrationally happy about all those greeny blues in the background. It's a color palette that's new to me... a sure sign of the influence of my Maine surroundings.  And, hey! Lookie there. Can you finally see that there is, indeed, a bird in this image?

The problem I had at the conclusion of this step is that it was all just TOO blue. Yes, of course it's water and it's blue, but it all seemed a bit bright. One more color pass was in order, and it needed to accomplish the tasks of adding one more bit of oomph to the value contrast in the foreground, and cutting the overall brightness of the entire block.

This was a job for SOOP-er Neutrals.

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 7 rollup


At this point I didn't want to add much contrast to the background, so the upper 2/5 of the block was inked with a pale, transparent gray. The lower 3/5 got a transparent warm browny-black. Nary a blue in sight, because of course the colors already present would influence anything placed over them.... especially since the new inks are as transparent as the previous.

Step 7 printed, just the bird to finish!

Yes. That's it at last! The water is finished. I remain happy with the sparkly, bubbly feel, and the tonal gradation from background to foreground.

But there's still a tricky little bit to finish: the tern. A delicate touch is going to be needed to give it just the right amount of contrast. Too much will make it jump out of the environment, and will run the risk of the bird looking like a cutout. Also, if the bird is as dark as the foreground wave, it could flatten the feeling of depth in the entire image.

I really want to finish this now, but the ink is too wet to risk printing the tiny tern shapes. It's likely to need two days before I can safely tackle it.... ugh. Torment.

But in the meantime I have plenty to keep me occupied. The two biggest priorities are tax deadlines AND reviewing the videos for my online course. Did I mention I have plenty to keep me occupied?

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Linocut in Progress: It's all heating up...

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