The issue is the balance of warm and cool tones... basically blues vs browns. This image has some of each reflected in both the water and the birds, but since I'm working in reduction this presents problems with order of printing. How do I prioritize for the influence of one color next to or over another? I have a sinking feeling that I have already messed this up, but there's naught to do but carry on and see where this piece takes me.
|Step 5, spot ink and mask|
Here's a good example. After the previous color pass the print was dominated by blue, but of course the bodies of Canada geese (for that's what these are) are brown. These brown bodies are very light in the sun, dark in the shade, and, just to make things more complicated, reflected in the water. But they aren't reflected in the water at the exact same value at which they appear on the birds, are they? Nooooooo, of course not.
So for Step 5 I cut yet another mask, once again to contain color. I spot inked a light tan-ish color, and got this:
|Reduction linocut in progress, Step 5 printed|
That all seemed fine. I spent... gosh... a lot of hours... carving and carving at this point. I thought I knew what color I wanted to print next... a sort of purpley-gray. But I pulled one print and decided that was a mistake. There were some warm undertones in parts of the water and a mid-tone to do on the birds, and I decided I should do that first. I cleaned up the block, and the brayer, and the glass, and rolled out the warmer color.
|Step 6 ink rollout|
It seemed quite alarming rolled out on the glass, but it was fairly transparent and my first test print seemed pretty good, so I went ahead and printed it.
|Step 6 printed|
Once I finished this color pass, I went back to my first (rejected) test print and ran this orangey-brown on top of the purple-y gray, just to see what it looked like. ARGH! It made EXACTLY the color I want next! But now it's too late, because in a test of my purpley-gray over the top of the orangey-brown color that I did print... well. It's not right. I should have stuck with my first inclination for color order. Rats.
It's not the end of the world (or the print), I don't think. It just means a change of tack and mixing a new ink color. But hey, I have lots of time. It's not like anybody's going anywhere right now, eh?