Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sapsuckers are Finished

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Lino/Woodcut/Reduction Lino by Ken Januski.

I'm happy to say that the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are done. There was a great temptation to get more complicated, especially in the background sky. But I decided to stay true to my original goal of a simple linocut after the complexity of the last one.

This one got more complicated than I intended once I added color, via a woodblock and block for reduction lino but I kept the woodblock to one color and the reduction lino to two. Well actually there is a slight lie in there. I started the reduction lino with an additional color, red for the head of one of the birds. But it really didn't work very well printing just that one small area of color.

In the end I tried something new: a stamp to add the red color. After I'd finished printing the black master lino block today I carved the end of a small maple dowel so that I could print a small roller of ink over it and place it manually on the otherwise finished print. All in all I think it worked out pretty well. And it reminded me that there is always more than one way to skin a cat.

This is printed in an edition of 10 on Hosho paper. The image is 4x6 inches and the entire print is 7x9. It is printed using Gamblin oil-based inks.

As I and Jerene have seen more woodpeckers over the years we've gotten to where we enjoy seeing their activities whether it's hanging upside down eating poison ivy berries, excavating a deep hole or feeding on trees. The complex and dirty plumage of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker makes them hard to see on trees. I debated showing that here but decided against it. I wanted viewers to see the birds right off. When you do the bold white stripe on the wing really stands out. Only then do you notice the dirty yellow on other parts of the bird, and sometimes the brilliant red.


Gabrielle said...

Hi Ken,

I've been out of the blogosphere a lot lately, but wanted to say I'm really liking your lino/woodcut/reductions. Looking forward to seeing more!

Ken Januski said...

Hi Gabrielle,

Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well. Happy to hear that you like the combination linocuts. I've gotten lost a bit with dragonflies but need to get back to my linos soon, before all the migrants start heading back south and I have another distraction!

P.S. I did like you hummer sketches. They are the hardest thing in the world to sketch live aren't they?