Making some new aceos

I decided to make up more aceos and little gift tags this week. Since I left most of the ones I did’t have listed in my etsy shop at Lilly’s Soap Kitchen, I wanted to have some on hand for resupply.  It takes me three days to make up the blanks. First day I have to stretch the paper.  It is a pretty heavy duty half sheet and I am sure it would warp too much if I just laid on the watercolor wash without the stretching step.  The next day, when it has dried, I rewet it, totally re-saturating it with water so I can get a nice flow of color.  I lay on the watercolors in a abstract pattern that seems appealing to my eye and when the paper has started to dry a bit, I flick on droplets.

It is hard for me to tell how it will finally look at this point.  I want a wide variation in depth and type of color, but not so much it muddies or is too dark to ink on.  Again, I wait overnight for it to dry and lay flat.  Then I remove it from the stretcher board and decide how to cut it up.

Aceo blanks being worked up

Aceo blanks being worked up

It takes a while because I try to map out some pleasing combinations before the cuts are made.  Also, the size doesn’t work out evenly for the aceo size, so I have some leeway on where to cut it.  In fact, I get the little gift tags from the cutaways.  I lay a bunch of  the blanks out on a sheet of plexiglass that I wedge into the drawer of my drafting table.  I work on them for a couple of hours at a time getting into a rhythm of inking but not a lot of thinking.  I don’t know why, but many of them remind me of flowers so that is what I do.

I also made up another linocut.  More about that one later.