Friday, July 1, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Purple, purple!

Things are at a fever pitch around here, as my departure for parts east is less than a week away and a few unanticipated minor crises have arisen.

I have, reluctantly, had to cancel a few commitments– but I think it was a good decision, since my body immediately responded to the drop in stress with uncontrollable sleepiness. I spent two days this week barely able to stay upright for three or four hours at a time. Can you say "exhausted"?

But Thursday I managed to stay awake long enough to get in to the studio and put a couple more layers on the snow scene linocut.

Step 5: Purple! I know it looks like blue, but it's really transparent purple over the existing blue layers. There are some subtle shapes starting to appear in the big expanse of shadow on the right– more a change of hue than of value.

Step 6: More purple! This time I added the tiniest bit of black to the pale lavender transparent ink, again trying to change hue but also to create a slight value change. You can see here how transparent the color is... it barely tints the lino block:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this image takes its inspiration from a photo in which the shadow shapes are just one flat blue. I'm trying to create more visual interest and a greater feeling of distance, but I'm making it up as I go along. (A technique known as the "Sherrie-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants-don't-try-this-at-home" method.)

I'm pleased that it's starting to suggest some dimensional depth at this stage, although I'm still concerned about that big shape on the right. The temptation to put another value change at the base of the "hill" is high, but I wonder if it won't be too much. Only one way to know for certain, and that's to try it! Stay tuned.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Linocut in Progress: Blue, blue, blue

And then more blue.

The image I'm working on is inspired by a photo I took several winters ago on the Phantom Canyon road below Cripple Creek. I like the pattern of light and dark in the photo, but the camera recorded the shadows as a single, flat blue. Okay in a photo, boring in a linocut.

So my goal is to print some variety, but I'm scratching my head over which bits to take out when.

Step 2, easy enough:

Looking okay, but the blue feels a little bright. For the next pass I took the scraps of this color and added some burnt sienna (color turned greenish) and purple (back towards a grayed-down blue).

As you can see, the ink is very transparent. Just in case you haven't noticed yet: I love transparent color.

Step 3 printed:

I definitely like the color and value of this pass, but I'm still not ready to chop out huge sections of shadow. So I carved out a few more small areas, added a wee bit more violet to the existing ink, and printed again. Step 4:

This particular pass was done in front of a live studio audience... sort of. I needed some new process shots for a presentation I'm doing next month, so a friend came over to take some photos while I worked. I rather liked this "reveal" image with a little Instagram filter effect. (Which... surprise! Is now in my Instagram feed.)

Reduction linocut color pass #4 reveal
So what's next? More blue, I'm afraid. But first I have to frame up some wee Bitty Birds for this weekend's Salida Art Walk. Yes, I DID do some before now... but the gallery just sent a message that they sold a couple today, so I need to replenish before tomorrow night. A good problem to have!