Linocut: guillemot assembly

Last weekend I was back at Birmingham Printmakers, cheerfully learning the techniques of suicidal linocutting from Jacqui Dodds and Christine Bradshaw.

20131103 Printmaking guillemots (2)

I had done a tonal drawing sitting on the cliff top at St Abbs in June.  I had had the idea from the start about using this as the template for a print.  I wanted to use the blue as the mid tone for both the darks of the birds’ uppers and the shadows of the white underparts.

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I mixed a light blue ink for the first cut.  On reflection, I think I should have cut more white into the foreground and allowed the background to recede in the mid-ground blue.

For the second cut, I mixed a reddish brown which darkened when overlaid onto the blue.

When the third layer in black went on, it was like magic, suddenly pulling the whole piece together.

I’ll add a plug for my hosts.  The Birmingham Printmakers are celebrating 30 years of existence with an exhibition in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.   It’s very good though I was dragged around rather rapidly by my impatient children.

Thanks Jacqui and Christine.  I’m looking forward to joining BPM and doing more of this.

12 responses to “Linocut: guillemot assembly

  1. This is a wonderful print! I love the dynamic composition and the black shapes popping out. This takes me back to the days when I was a printmaker. I did some linocuts but mostly drypoints. I always loved pulling the print off the plate and getting a surprise with the reverse image.

    • You are right. There is something exciting about doing all the planning in advance, then working through a pre-determined process leading to the final image suddenly appearing. Psychologically, it is very different to painting, with incremental steps changing the image in real time and a decision to be made when to stop. That is part of its appeal for me.
      Thanks for calling by, Anita.
      BW
      Neil

    • Thanks. I intend to. I have one planned in detail already. But a couple of weeks delay – meeting in Naples then conferencing in Philadelphia for the next week. No time for birding or drawing in either place sadly.

  2. Thank you! We are going to Brum next month I will check the exhibition out. We only live 25 mi from there and go about twice a yr! But I want to see this exhibit, thanks for posting

  3. Neat. 😀

    This gives me an idea for some coloring techniques, actually.

    Er… if you don’t mind me asking, why “suicidal” linocutting?

    • Hi
      Thanks for the comment and good luck with your ideas.
      “suicidal” linocut because the process gradually destroys the lino template. Nothing to do with my mood but I put the word “cheerfully” in, in case of ambiguity.

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