Saturday, December 28, 2013

More lino print faces

I've been distracted by the gouache resist and ink drawings, but I still need to work on these.  I need seven more of these little ones (3 X 5) and six more of the bigger ones (4 X 5) before I can print them as big blocks. 
So here are three more.  I have another half-week of vacation, and while I don't want to think of it as "cranking them out," I do hope I can do a number of them. 
There are still a bunch of new(ish) things that I want to try.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Gouache resist and ink revisited

Somehow it makes me feel so mature, or something, to go back to a technique I did last year to revisit it.  I was looking at some of those from last year--was it last year?--yes--and really liking how they turned out, and wanting to do some more of them.

So this is the gouache resist and ink....

It didn't take long though (one, as a matter of fact) to remember what I had ultimately decided about why I didn't like this technique.  It's cumbersome.  The gouache is thick, and can only be put down as a resist crudely.  And I used a different paint this time, which lets the ink through is different ways, which I think perhaps I kindof like.  We'll see.

But since I still like the results, I think I'll play around with it some more.  I am, after all, officially on winter holiday, so I do have a little time (at least I THINK I do, I hope I do....)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The second 31 of them....

This is #30 through #60......

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lino Faces #55 - #57

I think I'm ready to do something else for awhile.  I'm nowhere near to my goal of 100 of these, but I'm CRAVING a more fluid medium, something where I can have more subtlety.   
I'm thinking of going back to pen and ink with ink washes, or even those gouache and ink resist drawings, with pen and ink over them.  Charcoal?  Pencil?  Ball point pen?

I really like these, except this one right here--the third one--which didn't work very well, but I want to DRAW!

What this has forced me to do was see differently, and now with this last one, a whole new direction of the linoprints is suggesting itself.....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Skewed Sketches

All I can say about these is that after nearly a year of not doing them, its really fun to do them again.   When I was last doing them, they had lost their "skews", which I am trying to put back in.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lino Faces #53 - #55

Thanks to Asakiyume for her characterization of these lino cuts as "creating a world of souls and personalities".  I really like that, because it does seem like, on some level, that's what's going on.  One of the things I really like about making art is that as I draw, I do fall in love with the person who is emerging on the paper.  It's a little different with the lino cuts, because when you're cutting, it's just cutting.  The magic happens initially in the drawing, and then when you pull the first proof, but you have to do the middle cutting step, which can be very rewarding, but in a different, more zen way, but not in the same way as drawing.  (I don't know if that made any sense at all.) 
So here are three more.  They seem like they could all live in the same world.  A couple days ago I was putting groups of three together to print together, and out of 53 blocks, there were only three trios that wanted to be together.  I tried and tried to get more, especially of these little 3 X 5 blocks, but the three had to all have the same sized heads and the same style.  But that wasn't what I was thinking about when I was making them, so most of them don't belong together.  I did print a block of 20 (of the 3X5s) and 16 (of the 4X6s), but for that, since none of them go together, they all go together, since they're all black and white.  If I haven't posted any of those yet, I'll do that sometime soon. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bad Acid? (More Intaglio Explorations)

 Oh, these are bad scans.  The paper wasn't quite flat, so only the parts that are flat on the scanner bed are in focus.  But it's getting late (6:17 am), and I need to go walk the dog, so I don't have time to rescan them right now.

But I LOVED the line drawing of David, and I had to go aquatint the whole thing, and while I like the result, it's not the same drawing at all.

But I'm thinking something is the matter with either the acid or the ground, because here is another line drawing etched for 30 minutes, and the lines are really nice.  But if I etch them for longer, the ground disappears between the lines, and it gets all spready.

So I aquatinted this one too.  It still needs some work.

And here's the one that I thought should have been black when I over-etched it last week, but wasn't.  So this one is aquatinted pretty heavily, with some light areas burnished back in.

Lino faces #50 - #52

Here are three more.....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Illustration Friday--Refrain

This project is the REFRAIN of my artistic life right now.  Since falling in love with the old Mexican printmakers when I was in Mexico a couple months ago, I have been working on learning how to make linoprints.  Actually, I have always loved prints, but those fired up my interest in doing them myself.  

My goal (right now) is 100 of them.  It really takes a lot of carving to learn how to do it--what works and what doesn't work.  I hope they're getting better, and more interesting, though there are some early ones that I think are very interesting.  But I've learned a lot about carving, and am starting to get the hand of midtones.

But this is a "refrain" because I am working on other projects as well.  But I keep coming back to this again and again.  Also, if you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you will see other recurring themes.  The faces (I do love faces), the wrinkles, the grins.

Three more.  I am just plugging away at them.  This one is a second stage.  The first one just looked like a theater mask.  If you want to see all of them, click on the "linocut" tag on the right.
This one is also a second stage.  The first one with too flat.
And this last one, I didn't think would work out.  The drawing felt stilted.  But the print doesn't (to me, anyway).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Intaglio puzzles

 There is only one week left of my print-making class, and then maybe one week after that that I can still use the studio, so I had better make the best use of my time.  What's different about doing intaglio this time is that I figured out a whole lot of stuff when I took the 8-week class last time that I can basically just get right down to the business of making images, and I must say that drawing on the hard ground is really really pleasing.
All of these are from reference photos I took myself, and all of these I drew straight onto the plate, and I must say that I really like this little portrait of David.  I'm not done with it, though I'm not sure what else I'm going to do.  I'll probably give one of these proofs to David.  That's what I decided to do for all the people whose photos I've used--give them a print! (And hope that they're not mad that I used their image!).   This one actually looks a lot like him.  You can probably tell that he is a gentle soul.

Now here's the mystery:  I left this one in the acid for 51 minutes (as opposed to the 30 minutes for the portrait of David, which I thought could have been etched for a little longer), and instead of delicate lines (like I'd drawn on the plate), they were big coarse lines (and all the hard ground between the closely hatched lines had been eaten away).  I thought it would print really dark, but as you can see, it didn't.  Why not?  Did it wipe it too much?  Are the lines broad, but not deep?  Had the paper not soaked long enough?(it seems there was a lot of ink still left on the plate, and it LOOKED a lot darker than the David print after I wiped it.) And what do I do to MAKE them dark?  I should probably try printing it again, and see what soaking the paper longer, and wiping less aggressively does.  I bet it was the paper.  I only soaked it for the time I was wiping the plate, and the wiping went really fast.  The paper for the image below had been soaking a long time, and that plate looked like it had hardly any ink on it at all after I wiped it, and look how dark that turned out.  
So this is the second stage for the bass woman.  I added more etched lines (not that you can tell in this little format).  The scan isn't so great because the print isn't flat since I propped it up next to the previous stage while it was still wet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lino faces #43 - #46

I might as well admit now that my plan is to do 100 of these.  I'm not sure if I have enough little linoleum blocks, but I can easily get more. 
The only way to get good at something is to do a lot of them (plus really think about and evaluate what is working and not working). 
These four all need some more work done on them, but these are the first state.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More Intaglio....

So the Beginning Printmaking class rapidly moves on to intaglio.  That's fine.  I love intaglio.  Last time I took a class, I just barely got started.  But this time, even though it will only be three weeks worth of class time, I'm going to get a lot done.  I even ordered copper, so I'd have plenty.  Here's the result of two hours in the studio.  It's not done, but I'm really liking what's there so far....

This is 5" X 9", bigger than I've ever made a copper plate before.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More lino-faces

Even though I haven't posted anything, I haven't been completely un-productive....
These first two I did over a week ago, and the bottom one yesterday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Skewed Sketch #25

I guess I'm back to doing these.  They're hard to resist, especially when you have a working technical pen.....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

I have to say that it is a joy to become reacquainted with my technical pens.  I hadn't touched them in months (too busy doing all sorts of other things), and three out of the four of them were all dried up.  I soaked them all in warm water overnight and cleaned them well, and only refilled one of them.  But one is enough.  I can do these little sketches at school while the kids are working.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Progressing ever onward in this print-making class.  We are now on to intaglio proper.  This week was drypoint.  We learned (again) how to bevel the edges of copper plates, only this instructor had a cool plumber's tool--oh, what did he call it?  a burr-remover, I think--that made it really really easy to do.  So much faster and less tedious than filing the edges.  And then polishing the plate so that the smooth parts print white.  And then making your drawing with a scribe.  Unfortunately, we had to leave the scribes there, and I'm not sure I have anything at home strong and sharp enough.

But here's a swamp woman.  I really wasn't done with the drawing part, but I really wanted to print it before I left, so I did.  I do love copper plates.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lino Faces # 38 and #39

Nope.  I am clearly not done with these.  I still have so so much to figure out.  They're getting closer to the visions in my head, but I simply don't know how to do them.  It probably would be worth my time to make some copies of some of my favorite prints--to imitate the kinds of marks and edges they have.


So, in a way, this is Round 2.  Round 1 I did for 29 Faces in September, and I printing 20 of the smallest ones together.  Now I'd like to do a block with some of these larger ones, but I don't have 16 that I like, so I'm making more, but already I see them as being different.  I hope it's growth and not degeneration.....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back to collagraphs.....

So my printmaking class is doing collagraphs.  I really could have spent the whole 12 weeks on relief prints.  I still have lots of ideas for relief prints, but have no time to work on them.  But this now is the end of three weeks of collagraphs, and I'm finally getting into collagraph mode, but next week is the start of etching.  Alas.

Although I really like taking the classes, and learning new things and meeting new people, I think I don't have the temperament for all this switching of media.  I still really really want to be working on my linocuts.....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Color Reduction Prints

So finally, here is my first project for my BEGINNING print-making class.  Quite the beginner project, eh?  

I guess I learned a lot from doing them, and I had to do two instead of just one.  And I have some ideas for some more, but no....we've now moved on to collagraph.  I disapprove of this a little of this here, a little of that there kind of class.  It really takes me awhile to get into something, and to really see what I might be able to do with it, and then to do it.

So we'll see.....