More bookmarks

New bookmarks

New bookmarks

Now that the holiday commissions are finished, I decided to add a few new things to my etsy shop. I sold a bunch of bookmarks as Christmas gifts and needed to replace them. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be nice to make a few romantic ones as well as to replace the linocut sets.

Next, I’m back to the Jasper streetscape from a month ago.

 

More red linocuts

Red Chinese dragon

Red Chinese dragon

After I made the red dogwood linocut, I decided to look through my older blocks and see what might look good in red too.  Most obvious was my Chinese dragon, since they can commonly be seen in red.  I think he looks pretty feistyand dramatic this way

Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms

Then, as I continued to rifle through the linocut blocks, I found one of the early ones I made.  It hadn’t turn out the way I wanted, but since I have been doing them for a while now, I decided to modify it.  I actually removed t most of the background and made it more of a companion print to the previous dogwood one.  I wish I could change the blossoms a bit, but it’s not bad this way and I salvaged an old block into something more useful.

Goldilocks’ dragon revisited

Multicolored dragon print

Multicolored dragon print

I studied the failed dragon prints for a few days and decided to see if I could watercolor the light print into acceptability. I went for a modified red background to help him stand out more and colored his scales with a yellow ocher. I am pleased enough with the red pattern behind him that I may use a variation of it in future prints.  I had to overlay the ocher several times to get the depth I wanted, but I think it looks much better now.  He still seemed too washed out so I added my mossy green to his flanks and upper forelegs and his face.  I used a little bit of ink to sharpen around his eyes.  Evaluating him now, I am much happier than I was when I pulled him.

Dragon bookmark set

Dragon bookmark set

Ultimately, I didn’t think I could salvage these darker prints for sale as they were.  One had the red background added to see if that would provide enough help and the other was left all black.  Still not what I wanted.  It had occurred to me that if I cut them up as bookmarks, I could sell them all together as a funky set.  I ended up rather liking the way this idea turned out.  Fortunately, the dimensions of the original linocut made the sizing easy

What do you think of my choices?  Do you like the watercolored print  as it now stands?  I know it’s vastly improved, but is it enough?  And what do you think of the bookmark set idea?  They need to be laminated because I don’t think the printing ink would stand up to use.  I haven’t laminated anything up in quite a while so maybe it’s time to take a bunch of them in.

I have started prep for the next work.  I stretched a piece of watercolor paper yesterday and am going to throw watercolor washes on it today since it has fully dried. Tomorrow I would like to do an abstract architectural in ink over the washes.  And if it doesn’t work out – more bookmarks.

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?