Plant linocut

We got a taste of spring this week with temperatures reaching the lower 80’s briefly.  My daffodils have continued to bloom (and I to pick them) and the red dogwood has finally come out.  I bought a blood red dogwood last year from the big box store and I am pleased to say that it has a multitude of  dark red flowers. I also saw a coyote scoping out three deer in the shallow end of the pond, but by the time I had the telephoto lens switched over on my camera, he was gone.  I am sure the does were more than a match for a lone coyote and he only stopped to make sure no one was weak enough to merit more than a glance.

Still life linocut

Still life linocut

In a week of sporadic studio time because of out of town family travel, I managed to make up another set of linocuts. I recently sold both of my dragon prints out of my etsy store, so I was able to combine replacing those prints with doing something new.  I am happy my dragons found another home.  Those were two of my favorites art pieces.  I had in mind cutting some kind of potted plant this time around.  I was inspired by the jade plant I have in my garden window in the kitchen so I hope this is somewhat suggestive of it.  I didn’t bring it down while cutting the linoleum block, but just tried to create a pleasing positive/negative space with the leaves and the pot.

Colored linocut

Colored linocut

I knew I wanted to color the second one with a light mottled mossy green.  The trick is, how much to do.  I like to start small with the thought that, for these, less is more.  I think leaving some white helps highlight the colored leaves and doesn’t make the whole thing too dark.  I am relatively pleased with the result.  what do you think?

Making the prints

I managed to squeeze in printing up the linocuts this week while I was penciling out the new commission. I used plain copy paper first, since I had no idea what was going to be what for them. It has been decades since I did this and I didn’t want to waste my more expensive paper just yet.

Floral linocut

I printed up a few of both and then one of each on the printmaking paper.  I used some oil based ink I had on hand and I am not totally happy with it.  It was hard to roll out with the brayer and then took forever to dry.  Next time I think I’ll try the water based inks.

While I was fairly happy with the initial prints, I think I will still make a few changes.  I may cut into the flowers a bit more and I wish I hadn’t put the linear cutouts at the corners.  On the streetscape, I could probably do a bit more with the trees.  They don’t show up very well, as is.

I decided to add some watercolors to the prints and I think it changes them quite a bit.  I had enough decent prints to show both for the floral one, but only one  of the architectural one turned out good enough.  I like the effect of the colors over the black, but maybe that’s just me.  What do you think?

Cityscape linocut

Linocuts

Well, I took the weekend off for my birthday and for family. I’m back to work again and have started something new.  I have wanted to do a little bit of printmaking as a change of pace and when I had to re-order my art board, I decided to throw in a few linocut blanks since the shipping was free.  I already had the brayer, inks, and cutting tools from college, but I bet I haven’t touched them 30 years.

Linocuts

I decided to start small and only got 5×7’s, mounted and unmounted.  I didn’t know which I would prefer and the price difference wasn’t great so I bought both. I also bought a little Dover book of Asian clip art at the same time to give me a jump-start on a concept.  I  have the abstract architectural one half cut  and if you look closely at the block, you can see the rest of the pencil in.  The initial design for the floral is basically done.  I haven’t inked it yet because I figure it will be messy and I may as well do both at once.  I expect to make a lot of changes once I see the first prints and may decide to add a color wash at the end too.  I plan to make some plain paper prints as well as some blank cards to sell in my etsy store if they turn out okay.

I did finish the home portrait order and get it into the mail last weekend, but I  have gotten another one right on its heels.  I will have to fit the linocuts in the down time of the commission, but I expect to have something ready to show by Sunday.