Thursday, February 25, 2021

Finishing the Piping Plover!

Alrighty, then! Let's wrap this thing up, shall we?

This linocut was oh-so-close to completion after the last time I posted; in fact I thought Step 17 would be the final step. But you know how that goes...

Here's the rollup for Step 17. It's a transparent brown-black, applied over every bit of lino that remains on the block. Which, as you can see, ain't much.

Step 17 ink rollup

Step 17 ready to print

Aaaaannnnd.... here it is printed....

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 17 printed

Ugh. It has been really difficult to get a good photo of this piece from the very beginning, and now it seems to be worse. The camera wants to make it all more contrasty than it really is. 

Anyway... This is close to finished. Really close. But not quite. 

It's difficult to tell from the photos, but I felt the bird needed one last smidge of darkest value to pull it forward of the background. And I mean smidge. Eye. Beak. Part of the band around the neck. I needed to nudge those shapes, and only those shapes, a wee bit darker.

So of course I cut a ridiculously tiny mask and hand-inked these shapes.

Final details of the face

I'm not even sure you can tell from this photo, but there is a slight difference in value and color temperature... the last dark bits of the face are a bit cooler. It might seem like no big deal, but for me it made a difference in the overall feel of the image.

Here's that last hardly-can-be-called-a-color-pass printed. It's a fair photo of the final image, although the dark shapes all appear a bit too dark. (This photo can be embiggened slightly if you click on it... )

Final image.... but what is the title? Hmmmm.
Reduction linocut, 12" x 12," edition of.... 18, probably. 

All the prints are now happily drying away on the rack in the studio (waiting for me to give them a title), and I am turning my attention to the next potential piece. I've got a subject for my Underfoot series in mind, but I have some upcoming deadlines that will call for birds or other wildlife, so I need to find one more bird image to work on first. I think it's a fair bet that I will try to do something without so many subtle grays! Maybe something bold and bright? We'll see!

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