Chinese dragon linocut

Well, first a blizzard and now flooding rains. The pond rose 2-3 feet overnight and the road briefly flooded over.  We can get out now, but it is sometimes chancy when we get several inches in a short period of time.  Fortunately, the creek goes down as fast as it goes up so it doesn’t last long.  I am so grateful it was not snow again, considering that we just got rid of the last of it on Friday.

Chinese dragon

Chinese dragon

I have been tweaking the latest entryway the past few days and didn’t want to start another one at the same time.  I’ve thinking about trying a Chinese dragon linocut.  A few months ago I bought a clip art book of Asian art.  I thought I could adapt some of the illustrations into simpler linocuts.  There were some nice floral ones but I especially liked the dragons. This one is a variation of one of them.  I made the basic cuts fairly quickly, but then was stumped on how to add the body scales.  I let it sit overnight to ponder the question.  When I looked at it the next day, I knew that I couldn’t try to make individual cuts with a straight edge to delineate them.  I haven’t quite figured out the inking process yet and I knew that all I would accomplish would be to over fill them with the brayer.  I finally decided to use the scalloped blade and just scoop out a patchwork of scales.  I think it turned out well.

With the red

With the red

I thought a partial red background would accent him nicely, so I pulled a print on the heavier paper and this morning, after letting it dry overnight, I used the watercolors to put some on.  I didn’t want to color the whole background, so I spent half an hour doing the lower portion.  I think it looks like the right amount of color, but what do you think.  Should I have colored it all red?


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DixCutler
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 13:27:49

    I’d leave him as is — I like the firewalking effect.


  2. ruthsartwork
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 13:41:29

    Thanks, Dix. I didn’t think of him that way but it is apropos.


  3. Joy
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 18:09:34

    I like the red, but I would consider adding a different color on the top portion. Making the print three colors.


  4. lesliepaints
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 12:32:13

    Good job! I can’t advise as I know nothing about this whole linocutting thing, but like what you are doing very much. What kind of paper are you using to print on? If I were doing this, I think I’d be driven to try all kinds of textured papers to print on, wondering what they may look like. Rougher paper may lend to a more antique look as it may not pick up everything. There are also a wide array of oriental papers with fibers running through them that would be really interesting. Watercolor papers allow for all sorts of color washing…. So very cool, Ruth!


  5. ruthsartwork
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 17:19:40

    Thanks, Leslie. For the total black ones, I am using a thin 40 gram Awagami Factory Honshu type paper. It is textured on one side and slick on the other. I used the textured side. It crinkled badly when I tried to watercolor it so I use a heavier 250 gm printmaking paper to color. I actually thought ahead and ordered both when I decided to try this again after 35+ years. It is harder to get a crisp print on the heavier paper so I like the extra effect of the watercolor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: