Tuesday, September 3, 2013

29 Faces in September--# 6, # 7 and #8

Here are the next three.  They are are 3" X 5", and they really don't take very long to make because they're so small.  Designing them takes maybe 15 minutes, transferring takes maybe five, and then cutting them maybe another fifteen minutes. so it's pretty fast.  What's surprising me is how much I'm enjoying designing them, because usually, in all the other mediums I play in, what I enjoy the most is the execution, and I tend to rush through the design process.  But that clearly wasn't working here, so I've put more time into it, and have been liking it a lot.

I thought I'd also talk some about what I mean by "developing skills" in linocuts.  I have lots of skills in drawing and making pictures, but I am overwhelmed by the whole linocut process.  The skills I'm lacking:

1. Hand skills--how to make the kinds of marks I want to make.  It's still really rough.  I'm learning how to do curves, how to end marks, how not to make big ugly gouges when I don't mean to, etc.  Everyone needs hand skills.  I have hand skills in a lot of other things, but not this (yet--but I'm getting there).

2.  How to reduce everything to black and white.  It's tricky.  The dark darks are obviously black and the light lights are obviously white, but what about the stuff in the middle?  At what point do you assign a gray to white and a gray to black.  I'm working on that.  It's an exercise in simplification.

3.  How to "show" everything, reducing it to black and white.  This will be more for things more complex than a face, but it applies to faces too.  I'm thinking whole scenes.  You have to have everything show that needs to be shown, but how do you do that dark figure against a dark background.  I've been studying the prints of some of my favorite printmakers, and different people have different solutions, some of which I like and others of which I don't.


  1. Fabulous!! Love the beards especially. You're making me want to try this medium again :)

  2. I have made some linocuts, so I know it is not so easy.
    Your cuts have amaising shadows, they are the best and gives fine shape.

  3. I've only done one linocut and that was about 60 years ago. I think I was afraid of gouging my hand . I still have the prints made from that, though. Your venture into making people is brave and you have done an exceptional job at designing your work.

  4. You are well ahead with your faces! Good for you :-)
    I love linocuts and printing methods in general! Now you have drawn me into thinking linocut again, though I had intended to collage a face from bits of paper. Well there are plenty of faces to work on still, so I might give both a try. I'm your newest follower, I adore your work!

  5. these are wonderful
    very cool that they are not taking you very long
    they have an awesome feeling of character to them

  6. These are so awesome...I just love them.

  7. I really appreciate the notes on your process as much as seeing your products. thanks!

  8. I think you have a lot of skills already and I can learn a lot of looking at your portraits. I too don't know how to show the grey areas; it's always black or white. I love your linocuts. My fav is number 3 today. Thanks for showing them!
    xxx Marianne

  9. your prints just amaze me. i like hearing about your process. i learn from that. whenever you try something new there are new muscles both brain and hand muscles that need to be developed. bravo.

  10. These are so wonderful. I love black and white. It is so graphic, clean, and exciting. Your art really moves me and my imagination!