Monday, February 17, 2020

Linocut in Progress: Embracing a theme...

Ah, February! All around me people are commenting on how quiet it is... and my "Are you NUTS?" face is getting such a workout that it might just get stuck this way. Quiet? In my dreams.

No... not even there.

Whatever... let's squeeze in some studio time so we can give those elevated eyebrows a rest, shall we?

As usual, I've gone off a bit half-considered when it comes to how I want this piece to unfold. What attracted me to the idea isn't much visible in the work so far... although maybe a little more so after Step 3. Just a straight up blue over then entire block this time, with plenty of transparency in it.

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 3

We're* headed for what I hope will be big drama. (*That's the Royal "We," in case you're wondering... which includes you, of course.)

The foreground is near the shore... so churning up lots of foam and disorganized chaos. Behind all of this are some more regular and quite dark waves... a sort of yin/yang, light/dark, quiet/chaos theme. At least that's the idea. (And when I think about it, the whole raised-in-disbelief eyebrows vs. scrunched-down-in-a-scowl-trying-to-figure-out-what-gets-carved-out-next eyebrows situation is thematically appropriate*.)

The chief concentration of blues will be in the background, with the foreground sporting more gray-greens. To that end I took some of the leftover greens I mixed for Step 2 and mushed them together. This was followed by a mushing together of some leftover blues and grays, with the addition of a little more blue.

"Mushing together," for those of you who don't know, is a highly skilled and technical process of precise color mixing.

After exercising my mushing skills I rolled out a nice blue--to-green blended roll, and commenced with the printing of Step 4. Oooh. Purdy.

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 4
Embiggenable with a click, so you can actually SEE it.

Remember 'way back at Step 2 when I was a little concerned that my first gray might have been too dark? Yeah, not a problem. Visually it has practically disappeared already.

And speaking of disappearing... most of the foreground material is going to disappear from the block now. There are a few areas that will interact with the darker background colors to come, but not a lot. I think the water will require 2 more color passes, and then there are some details of the birds to sort out. (Birds? What birds? Yes... there are two birds in here.)

So... carry on, everyone... I'm headed back to the studio for some carving.

(*Thematically appropriate eyebrows? Wow. Perhaps I should cut down on the caffeine.)


  1. So glad you got to use your greens from step one. It's coming along nicely from this perspective (eye brows in normal position heading for the wow look).
    I have a case of spindle roller envy....what durometer do you prefer? And diameter x width preferences. My press is 24" x 46". I'm sure I will only afford one....ever!

    1. Of course I love the largest diameter rollers/brayers I can get my hands on, but it's hard to find the space to roll them out! I have a huge one that I purchased from another printmaker some years ago, and I've never been able to use it because I don't have enough room. One of these days.

      The roller in the background of the photo is... hm... maybe 5" diameter by 17" wide. I like a sort of "medium" durometer, although I couldn't tell you an official measurement for either of my large rollers, since I bought them used. My hand brayers are from Takach, I think their standard is 35.

      25 x 46 is a nice size. Mine is 30 x 60, which most of the time is more than I need. (Again purchased used, so it is what it is!).

  2. nah, never too much caffeine :p

    lots of energy and movement to this :)

    1. Energy and movement is what the caffeine load is all about, yes? ;-)


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