Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to That Troublesome Wren

Carolina Wren. Pencil sketch in Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook by Ken Januski.

Rusty Blackbird with Carolina Wren. Reduction linocut trial proof by Ken Januski.

It's hard for me to believe that I last touched the Rusty Blackbird and Carolina Wren reduction linocut more than two weeks ago. But that simple print of the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth turned out to be not so simple and so time just disappeared.

One thing I did know is that the horrible version of a Carolina Wren in the black proof from two weeks ago would have to go. I wasn't worried though because it was just a placeholder on the black linoleum block. I actually planned to cut out the shape and print it on a second linoleum block.

Though I was happy with the shape in the original sketch from early this year I decided it might be wise to do another pencil sketch based on it but with an additional look at my photos. That's it at top, done on Stillman and Birn Gamma paper. I do love this paper for the way it handles erasures and reworking in pencil.

This is 5"x7" paper. On the print though the wren is less that 1.5"x1.5". So I made a smaller copy on the computer, reversed it, and then used tracing paper to draw it on the second linoleum block. At that small size I couldn't control the chisels and gouges for cutting away the lino as well as I'd like. But it was good enough. Above you see the second block with two colors, the yellow of some bent weeds and the brown of the Carolina Wren.

The tall vertical weeds, actually Pokeweed, I hope to make a deep burgundy. After that some more browns and perhaps blue/blacks. Then finally the black lino printed on top of it all. At that point it will be time to evaluate the results, see what emergency has arisen, and I'm sure one will arise, and then decide where to go from there.

I always envisioned this as a dark but rich scene, whether in watercolor on relief print, due to the dark rich colors of the Rusty Blackbird. So far that seems to be working out.

Oh yes - Rusty Blackbirds don't really have eyes the size of quarters. It will become smaller once overprinted in black.

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