Thursday, April 8, 2021

Linocut in Progress: The big catch-up...

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 7 vs Step 8. 

Readers, you deserve better, but on this particular image I have totally dropped the documentation ball. I have a number of excuses, not one of which is particularly good, so let's just see what I can do to rescue the situation. A lot has happened since I last checked in.

In the photo above... hmmmm. On the left, Step 7, which was the state of the image after my last post. After Step 7 I removed ALL the background material from the block. Step 8 was two semi-opaque, white-ink-heavy colors applied at the same time. The slightly warmer color (as shown below on the right) was rolled on the bottom of the block, the cooler on the top portion and they were printed simultaneously.

Both inks of the Step 8 color pass.

At this point I thought things might move ahead in a more straightforward manner, but I was, alas, mistaken.

First up... the eye. The only yellow spot on the image. There was no point in fussing about with a full-on color pass for such a tiny shape, so I cut a mylar "stencil" and pounced the color onto each print by hand. Easy enough.

Pochoir technique for the yellow eye. Step 8.5?

This technique is called pochoir. It was used particularly in the hand-coloring of fashion plates in the 1920s and 30s, but I don't think the osprey will mind the association. They strike me as rather posh creatures, even if their breath no doubt smells of fish.

After the yellow, the Ugly Duckling Stage was upon us. While I was pochoir-ing the aforementioned eye, I decided to do the same to beef up some of the color in the lichen on the tree snag. (Sorry, no photos, I forgot.) It seemed fine until I applied the Step 9 color. More on this in a paragraph or so.

Step 9 rollout

Step 9 was a sort of... orangey brown?... applied only to the lower portion of the block. Something about this ink made the "beefed up" lichen green look positively minty when photographed. I tried to correct the color in the photos, but in the end gave up. Don't be alarmed when you see it. 

Here's the rollup of Step 10, with Steps 9 and 10 hanging on the wall behind. The Step 10 ink was a transparent warm gray over the entire block.

Steps 9 and 10, printed

See what I mean about the lichen color looking so alarming in Step 9? It didn't look that bright in real life, but wow... weird color metering on the part of my ancient phone camera. 

As you can see with Step 10, the lichen color metered a little better. Not so lurid. The Step 10 ink looks different in the top half of the image (more gray) because of course it's transparent and interacting with the colors beneath it. 

I think just two more color passes should get me to the end of this image– a transparent gray to pull out some more contrast in the tree and then the darkest bits of the bird. It would be great to be able to finish this weekend, as I've got some deadlines looming and it would be great to have this one complete and drying on the rack before too many days go by.


  1. yep, ospreys always look like posh birbs, well not after they might have got wet trying to get a fish lol

    1. LOL, yes... the wet and bedraggled look doesn't qualify as particularly posh. But the feather necklace can be nice. ;-)


Linocut in Progress: The big osprey finish

 Well. I see by going back and rereading my own post that I anticipated only two more color passes to finish the osprey linocut . Yeah. You ...