Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Almost There, Maybe...........

Black-throated Green Warbler. Linocut/Woodcut/Reduction Linocut by Ken Januski

The combination linocut, reduction linocut and woodcut is moving slowly along. The woodcut portion is finished, unless I decide on a second woodblock to add some light highlights at the end. The first lino block, which is the reduction lino, is most likely done. Above you can see the result of printing the various colors on the reduction lino on top of the already printed woodblock.

Black-throated Green Warbler. Linocut/Woodcut/Reduction Linocut by Ken Januski

The last lino block, at least according to my initial plans, will print last in black. Since it is what will hold much of the final print together I can't resist printing it occasionally along the way, before the reduction lino with all its colors is finished. I do this to get a better idea of what the final print might look like and what changes I might still need to make.

I did that on the previous color of the reduction lino, a color barely visible now, except  in the head of the Black-throated Green. To see how the latest color, the slate gray, might look I've printed in on top of one of the test prints where I printed the black early. What this does is cover up some of the final black but leave enough to give me some idea as to how the final print might look.

For readers not familiar with lino and woodblocks I apologize. This probably seems needlessly complex. And you might well ask: Why Bother? The reason is COLOR. If you have much interest in color as I do, then you need to find some way to print multiple colors. You can only do one color per inking of a block, with some specialized exceptions. So that's it in a nutshell. I want color in my prints and I keep exploring ways to get it. None seem easy. But if a print does work out it is nice to know that I have more than one copy. And there also is a challenge, sometimes fun and sometimes not so much, in the complex interaction of myself and the printmaking process.

That process usually leads to imprecision and surprise. Since I'm not a big fan of precision, except when I'm trying to understand the structure of something, this generally is something I'm happy with. In some sense this type of printmaking demands improvisation. You, or at least I, can't plan it all out in advance. You make your plans and then start improvising!

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