Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reduction Linocut

Yesterday, I introduced you to the artwork of our instructor, Mare Blocker, for our Reduction Linocut workshop at Wingtip Press.  Now, I will show you what I made.

I had a hard time trying to decide on a design.  I wanted to do something abstract, like I usually do in my other artwork.  But I couldn't figure out how to do what I wanted.  Since this was my first time attempting a reduction linocut,  I also didn't want it to be too complicated.  I gave up on the two ideas I was contemplating.  Eventually, I pulled out my butterfly book, picked one and drew it.

I transferred the drawing to the linoleum block and started carving.  The first color I printed was yellow. You can see my first color (at the bottom of the picture) along with some others on the drying rack.

After you print as many copies of the first color as you would like, then you carve out more on the same block.  My second color was orange and I knew that I didn't need to ink the whole block because there was only a small section of orange on the butterfly.

You print right over the first layer of color and have to be careful with registration of the paper so you can (hopefully) get things to line up.  Here is one of the prints with the orange on it.

After you do all the prints with the second color, then you go back to the block and carve out more for the next color.  I only did three colors and black was the last.

Below are two of the final prints.  The bottom one has black ink as the last color.  My friend, Mary, suggested I try blue as the last color.  So I did a few with blue (the top one has blue ink).

Since I did not roll the orange all the way over the yellow, when I added the blue, it made the top part of the wing look more greenish and the bottom part of the wing look more brownish because the inks aren't totally opaque (yellow+blue=green, orange+blue=brown).  Here's a closer look.  Which one do you like better?

You can also see that I'm a pretty messy printer with some of the ink getting on the rest of the block and printing.  I don't mind because I can cut these out if I want to use them for anything.

I only did three colors, but some people did four.  I'm sure you could do more than that as well.  I'll show you some more tomorrow.

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