Thursday, May 11, 2023

Linocut in Progress: All the little ending bits

Okay, wow. I have at least four steps remaining to show you, but they are kind of a snooze. AND... full disclosure... I was trying to finish this piece for a deadline back in April, so when it got down to the crunch I stopped taking photos of ink rollouts and masks and all of the interesting bits. I promise I'll try to do better next time.

So here's Step 10. You'll have to trust me that is was another transparent gray pass. The goal was to create some darker greens, and it also darkened up the background blues a bit.

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 10

And now I can no longer avoid the bird. It's a small thing (Literally. It's maybe an inch and a half long), but a big thing... if you know what I mean. 

Of course because I've been largely ignoring it, I need to go back and lighten some small shapes. I knew this was coming, and it's always a bit of a risk, but I did it anyway. 

Here's a closeup of Step 11:

Step 11 detail

I lightened the beak area, plus a couple of shapes in the reflection. Rolled out the ink looked almost white, but as you can see, it doesn't appear white as printed. That is a good thing. I didn't WANT white. But it did take a couple of tries to get this to register as a lighter warm tone with all that green and gray underneath. 

Here's the overall view: 

Step 11 printed

So NOW I can really start try to resolve the creator of all these lovely reflections. An American coot has a dark gray body and a black head, but I wanted to suggest at least a little light hitting the bird, so I left some lighter gray-brown areas when I rolled out... Another transparent gray. Darker this time. But still gray.

Here's a detail:

Step 12 detail

Okay, so close now! I think one last dark transparent gray... not quite black... will do the trick.

But first, the overall image at Step 12:

Step 12 printed

The final dark finished off the bird, plus I carried it down a little way into the reflection... you know... 'cause that's how reflections work. 

Step 13, final

So there you have it... "After Effect," reduction linocut, 12" x 18" in an edition of 15. It's even up on my website already. Wait... before it was officially finished? Well, yes, because: deadline. 

The only question left now is.... what's next?

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Linocut in Progress: The bright and the blah....

When last we checked on the current linocut in progress, we had just stepped away from a lovely, harmonious color palette and started to stir things up. Prepare yourself... because we're still on that path!

Step 7 rollup

Okay, okay... yes. This going back to blue, so maybe not TOO wild, but it is definitely a big blue after the much more quiet tones of the first few color passes. This composition is really all about the contrast of the wake and ripples behind the bird, so we might as well start cranking it up to 11. 

I'm not ready to do much with the bird itself yet, though, so that will get a little newsprint mask to keep it clear of additional ink layers.

Step 7 printed

But, hey... look at the cool color that resulted from putting this rich blue over the top of the orangey ink laid down in the last color pass! Nifty, eh? 

It's all still very blue, though, and what this image really needs is some greens. Of course mixing a green or two and applying it would be one solution, but you know me... let's try something a little more... um... Well...  A little more. 

Step 8 rollup

This is definitely more. More blue, plus a big ol' bright ochre-y yellow. That ought to do something, right?

Step 8 printed

And, indeed, we can call that... something. It's a nice green... sort of olive-y, but bright. Plenty of room here for adding some more subtle greens without ever actually using green. How about some gray, for example?

Step 9 rollup

At this stage you can see that I've decided to start letting some of this color influence the bird, so there's no mask. Just a transparent gray... and if you look closely you might be able to tell that I didn't roll it all the way down the block. Maybe just halfway?

Step 9 printed

I feel like I have a fair sense of where the image is going at this stage. I think perhaps one or two more gray passes to sort some more subtle details in the water, and then of course the bird needs some serious attention. Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Linocut in Progress: Moving right along

 Okay! The "easy" part is over... all of the related and harmonious blues are in place. Time to start making things more complicated. Why? Because that's how I roll, silly. 

Linocut in progress: Step 5 spot ink

So for Step 5 of this linocut, let's do a bit of spot inking for some tiny gray shapes that in the end probably no one will notice except me. Why? Again, I tell you, it's how I roll. Unfortunately you can't see the actual roll of ink, because I neglected to take a photo. But you get it... it's some gray, and I rolled it around in the middle of the image. 

Step 6 rollup

But, here! Here's a rollup that you can see! Interesting color, eh? This is also something that won't be prominent in the final image, but I just felt like it needed to be in there.  I want to contain the color through the middle of the block, but I don't want to create a hard line, sooo... let's cut a mask, shall we? 

Step 6 mask

Okay, two masks, really. Just a sort of random wiggly, watery shape.

Step 6... printed!

Fun, eh? I quite like this from an abstract perspective. In some ways it seems a shame to cover most of this nice color up in subsequent color passes, but that's what I'm going to do. Onward!

Linocut in Progress: The Third Act

Time to wrap up this linocut ! And we are wrapping at warp speed (see what I did there?)... because there are deadlines. Exhibition deadline...