Bamboo and birds – the newest linocuts

bird_c_4663I worked rather diligently on the new linoleum blocks once I had them. In addition to the bamboo linoleum block I showed last time, I also wanted to make a companion print to the first shore bird. I decided to hold off the printing until I had both done so I could add the watercolors at the same time.When both were done, I pulled several prints of each.  I left one black and have colored the second one with the same mossy green I used before.

I wish I had looked at the first bird more closely before I cut out the second though.  I forgot that I left a small border around it and to really make a matched set, I should have put it on the second one.  Oh well, it’s not a huge deal.  I just wish I had taken a little time to look instead of diving right in.  The problem is I don’t like to look a previous work too much when doing something new.  It tends to stifle me.  I can get bound up in trying to reproduce an effect instead of letting a piece develop its own uniqueness.

bamboo_bw_4660I rather like the way the bamboo print turned out.  I was a little afraid of it since I based it on two sketches I made last week and I could feel myself focusing on them rather than the block cut at hand.  When I got to the color, I debated on how much to add.  I started in the lower middle, intending to work my way up and out as the spirit moved me.  Then I  just decided to put it over the whole area.  I though it would better evoke a forest of bamboo.  I have another print already made so if I decide to try a partial color I can easily do it.  However, looking at it a day later, the total green has grown on me.

bamboo_c_4670And wouldn’t you know it, when I went to get out my printing paper – there was the missing block. I had put it “safely” with the paper, out of the way in my flat file.  As I said, it was only safe from me.

Bamboo linocut

Bamboo linoleum block

Hooray!  My linoleum blocks came in the mail today.  I have been eager to cut out the bamboo idea that I had last week when I couldn’t find my last one.  I penciled it out based it on a little sketch I had done, and then adjusted it as I cut.  Sorry about the flash sheen, though.  I got a late start this afternoon and was not able to photograph it outside.  I tried four different ways and the flash just bounced off of every one.  If you click on it, however, the enlargement is a bit better.  I upped the contrast some, so it actually looks a lot like the print will.

I think I will once again make both a straight black ink print and then add some watercolor to a few.  I really like the mossy green that I used before, so I probably use it and maybe something else.  It is so hard to decide before I see an actual print.  That will be tomorrow’s task.