Thursday, April 22, 2021

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 all know me better than that. But honest... I wasn't too far off.

So, where were we? Right. Step 11. 

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 11 rollup

The ink rollup for this step was a transparent medium gray-brown, although in this photo it looks rather dark. Here are Steps 10 and 11 side-by-side (although I should probably say Steps 11 and 10, since that's the order they're in). 

As I hoped, this pass served to unite the darker tones across both the bird and the snag it's perched on. It was so close at this point, and I really wanted to finish it in one more color pass, but deep down I suspected it would need another. But a girl can dream, can't she? 

Here's the rollup for Step 12, a darker, but still transparent, gray-brown. There's not a lot of material left on the block at this stage, and after every inking I had to take time to wipe stray color from the lower carved areas because it was hard to ink the tiny shapes without running over the sides. Time consuming. But that's printmaking for ya.

Step 12 rollup

Printed it looked like this...

Steps 12 and 11 side-by-side

So, so close. I noted with much relief (printmaking pun not intended) that the addition of this dark really pulled all the other values in to line. I had been uncertain about whether the color and value of the shadows in the bird's white chin and belly were correct, as well as the color of the lichen; with this pass it all seemed to come together.

I'll say it again: So, SO close. But I wasn't quite satisfied with the wings... they seemed a little too flat. And if I was going to put some more darks in the wings then I needed to add a few in other parts of the bird to keep the value range harmonious. But... bird only. The tree snag was finished. I removed almost ALL the material from the block until I was left with this:

Step 13 rollup

The ink used for Lucky Step 13 was the unaltered leftover ink from Step 12. I didn't want to change the color, just the value. 

The result?

Reduction linocut, Edition of 16

Quite satisfactory. Technical issues early in the process meant I had more losses than usual, but I still ended up with a solid edition of 16. 

For the first time in over a year I suddenly have a lot of projects and a workshop schedule to contend with, so I'll be juggling studio time around all the other moving targets. It's a bit overwhelming, but it's a more familiar kind of chaos, and for that I'm really grateful. The covid situation is improving, but we're not out of the woods yet, so please enjoy a little more interaction with the larger world, but stay vigilant... like the osprey!


  1. I love reading your blog and don't comment enough. This one really is great. At one point it went through a stage where I wondered if you'd pull it off, but of course you did. Being a watercolor artist I am used to that stage where things start to seem wrong but all is really just good. Reading your blog makes me realize just how much you can continue to change the color of a piece despite the number of layers before. Really wonderful piece, Sherry.

    1. Hi April! I'm chuckling because I ALWAYS wonder if I'm going to pull it off. Thanks for taking the time to say hello, it was nice to see your name pop up!

  2. that last pass really did just bring everything together and have him pop off the paper 😀

    1. Whew, right? It's always a bit of a nail-biter at the end!


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 ...