Thursday, August 29, 2013

Surprise Me!

Deer, Green Heron, Wood Ducks. Linocut Proof by Ken Januski.

Deer, Green Heron, Wood Ducks. Watercolor sketch by Ken Januski

After the last very complex lino/woodcut I felt like looking at the work of some other wildlife artists working in print. Out popped Wildlife in Printmaking , by Carry Akroyd from Langford Press. I've read it a number of times since receiving it as a present at the end of last year. One of the most common themes is that many if not most of the artists represented chose printmaking as their medium because they like the element of surprise in it. That really rings true to my experience.

Though I don't think any of the artists in that book use this exact phrase printmaking forces you into a dialog with the print. That is much of its appeal. Who knows why. You'd think that an artist would like to be in total control. But it's the element of surprise I think constantly thrown up by the process that keeps it interesting.

In any case I did do a bit of planning on the first proof of a linocut at top. I did this partially because I've never drawn or painted deer of any sort, or really any mammals. So I did a watercolor study of it below, another of the Green Heron and Wood Ducks also below, and then a wash watercolor above trying to get some idea of a composition that would work and include all of these characters. The  lino is based on the wash watercolor, though its initial inspiration came from the Conte sketch of the last post.
Green Heron, Wood Ducks. Watercolor by Ken Januski

White-tailed Deer. Watercolor by Ken Januski

I'm not exactly sure where this will go. I'd like to keep it simple because I have an idea for a different, more complicated lino/woodcut in the back of my mind. On the other hand printmaking always has those surprises so who knows. One thing I do know is that this is not a moonlight scene with reflections in water. I need to do something to change that. And of course once you know that color and multiple blocks of various materials are always an option it's easy to consider using them. At the moment though I think it makes sense to keep this simple. Just one color on one block. Time will tell............

No comments: