Sunday, July 28, 2013

Linos in the Fire

Hummingbird Moth at Flower. Copy of pen sketch by Ken Januski.

Hummingbird Moth at Flower. Two Lino Proofs by Ken Januski.

After not doing any linos for a week or two I've now started two in the last 24 hours. Too many linos in the fire you might say. That wasn't the plan. But after I started the combination linocut/reduction linocut below of a Rusty Blackbird and Carolina Wren I realized that I didn't have enough paper to proof and print an edition. So today I decided to do something simpler while I waited or the paper to arrive.

Unfortunately I seem to have become allergic to doing anything simple in linocuts. At top is a copy of the sketch I did today of Hummingbird Moth at flower, most likely a member of the mint family. As you can see it's pretty simple. It's been reversed on the computer so I can use it as a template for the linocut.

But after I'd done the first black proofs I decided that it would be good to make the background a different color. And then of course I could use a third color, brown on the moth. So things quickly got complex. Above are two test proofs. The first shows the black lino printed on top of the blue woodcut. Below it I've printed the blue woodcut on top of an earlier black lino just to see what it would look like.

As you can see there is a lot of blue where there shouldn't be in the flowers and moth. I've cut away additional lino so that when I next print the flower should just be black and white. Hopefully this will go quickly. But you just never know.
Rusty Blackbird and Carolina Wren. Watercolor sketches by Ken Januski.

In early 2013 we saw Rusty Blackbirds a number of times, once in the same location as a Carolina Wren. I always thought it would make a good painting or print. Above you can see the first watercolor attempt many months ago in the lower portion of photo. Above it is a new mixed media experiment using a new sketch of the Rusty Blackbird and combined with watercolor and pastel.

Rusty Blackbird and Carolina Wren. Sketches by Ken Januski.

I decided I should do a new Rusty Blackbird sketch before I attempted this print. It's above along with another version of a possible lino, this time with a copy of the sketch pasted on and then watercolor and pastel.
Rusty Blackbird and Carolina Wren. Lino Proof by Ken Januski.

After a couple of days of experimenting I decided it was time to get started on the lino. Above is the black portion of the lino printed on copier paper. Much of the black will probably disappear from the final print. I'm at a standstill here because of the lack of printing paper. Once I get some I'll start a second lino block onto which I'll copy a version of this print as a guideline. Then I'll add a straw yellow, deep maroon, probably some browns and maybe a dark blue/black as a reduction print. When that's done I'll go over it with the black lino, hoping I can pull it all together.

P.S. Yes that Carolina Wren looks completely wrong in the lino proof. Though it was fine in the drawing I completely messed it up in cutting it on the lino. Since it will be brown however, I still have the chance to redraw it on the second block, if that makes sense. In other words I know it's wrong but I'm not currently worried about it.

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