|Reduction linocut in progress: Step 6 rollup|
Looking good! I quite like how well the bird seems to be settled down into the water. Loons and cormorants are both heavy-bodied birds, and their low posture in the water is really characteristic. (Cormorants sit so low that sometimes all you can see is their head and neck, like a mini Loch Ness monster.)
|Step 6 printed|
Now we have the tiny (not-quite-1/4-inch-diameter) area of the loon's surprising red eye to contend with. In this case it's fairly shadowed, so doesn't have to be bright, but it does need to be there. This calls for some pochoir! I cut a little stencil from a piece of acetate, and "pounced" this color directly on to the prints.
|Step 7 pochoir stencil|
It looks a bit alarming here as just a big, flat red spot, but I'm counting on subsequent layers in the bird to tone that down. Let's move on!
|Hardly worth calling a step, but here's Step 7 printed|
Oops. And then I got distracted and didn't take a photo of the Step 8 rollup. Although I think it was the same as Step 6 or perhaps a wee bit darker. I almost always save leftover ink at any print stage, and if the next color pass is in a similar or related hue, I will use the previous ink to start the mix for the next. Kind of like continuing to add vegetables every day to stretch a pot of soup. Or maybe like sourdough starter. You get the idea.
|Step 8 printed|
Really, really close now, which means... hey! I might actually finish this in fewer than ten color passes! When was the last time THAT happened? It's certainly been a while.
|Step 9 rollup|
The Step 9 rollup was almost-but-not-quite black, maintaining a good bit of transparency. As you can see on the block, the only places this color will be printed are the bird and its reflection.
|"Lone Loon" reduction linocut, 6" x 12", edition of 16|
And there it is! An entire reduction print of 9 colors in about a week! Whew. It was really nice to spend some concentrated time in the studio, especially since I am now moving at high speed to prepare for the busy summer season. I've been framing, labeling, transporting, hanging work... all the glamorous bits of the artist's life. (It's all about "stuff into the car, stuff out of the car.")
I've got a bit of excitement on the not-too-distant horizon... an opportunity to get away with a sketchbook and my thoughts for a couple of weeks. More about this as it comes closer!