Sunday, January 29, 2017

All Newt Review II

 Presently untitled, here is the final finished print, in the last two states. I always love how the black ties everything together. It's a little more primitive than I'd originally conceived, but it works for this print, particularly in the shading. If I were to do it over again -- and I am NOT!-- I might make the pink bolder, and the colors on the mushrooms darker. But I'm happy with it!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hello There, Newtiful!

So here's our little guy, creeping across the forest floor. I'm still figuring out the background and how to finish, but I've no shortage of ideas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Contrasting Opinion

Yesterday I fretted about the contrasting colors and whether there would be enough contrast when the ink dried. As you can see, everything worked well. Now we get back into the darker colors, and I think that orange is really going to pop. I'm trying something new with the background, and I'm going to worry all through that too!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Twofer Tuesday

Having rescued the print from the trick brown I used on the disappearing mushroom, I did a nice bright pink. The animal in the picture is a newt, very comon in the woods in Western New York. They are a striking bright orange with fluorescent pink dots. I prefer not to print with fluorescents due to fading, so I do the best I can to mimic. I love the look of the pink with the brown gray.

Last night, seeing that the print had dried well, I took a risk and printed the first orange. This will be the darker orange of the shadowed areas of the newt. I was very happy with this color. However, because the lighter orange is a tone of this orange, I neetd to be mindful of what happened with the mushroom. But on one of the earlier versions of this print, I played it too safe and there was way too much contrast. Here's hoping that I've figured it out!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Let's Have Fun, Guy!

The first print of 2017 is well underway and following close on the heels of this accomplishment is the first problem of 2017! But it was easily resolved and I'm back at it.

First, the print is a redo of a print I first began back in 2014, then tackled a couple more times. This was the last one:
It wasn't bad, but it wasn't quite what I'd wanted. It had some whimsy, and I liked the cartoony nature of it. But I felt I could have done better -- I was using lousy birch plywood, and I don't think I'd yet learned to properly sharpen my knives. Additionally, as evidenced here, I was still a long way from finding the cure for the ink problems I was having. The entire background should have been deep black, but the ink pulled back into tiny pools on the print after pulling it from the block.

All of those problems are gone now, and here is the print with two colors:
You can see the contrast really well between the light and dark colors of the mushroom. I was very, very happy with this. I hung the prints up to dry. The next morning, I went to do my next color and found this:
I photographed this so that you could still see the image, but in straight light, it looked like a brown square. The ink had dried to almost the exact color of the first color. Anyone who has painted a room or furniture knows this effect. As an ink tech for a printing company, I was extremely surprised, as I have never witnessed this with ink. I don't do a lot of tones, so it's not a huge problem, but it sure was disappointing. Luckily, I was able to print over this with a lighter version, and it looked awesome. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017