Several big lessons learned this week.
First and foremost, don’t be so stingy with the ink. A little does not go a long way, a lot goes a little way. My first few prints were so light and splotchy you can’t tell what you are looking at. But I figured it out by the end of the printing and the results were decent for the block. I did mix my own shade of blue and added some ink retarder, which slows the drying process. Compared to last weeks quick-drying frustration, it made a noticeable difference. My paper had a bit more tooth this week which added to the splotchiness. I do like the natural texture of the hand printing process.
I used a new linoleum material, Easy-to-Cut Lino in a moody dark grey. It is a much stiffer material than I am used to. My design proved to be more challenging to carve. I borrowed Angela’s higher quality, more expensive carving tools that actually made this possible. There are so many small triangles to remove among all those circles. The small size of the postcard has some limits I need to consider as I move forward. Be warned that tiny details can lead to knots in the shoulders and a never-ending trudge to reach the end.
It was an idea, anyway.
Flexcut Palm carving tool
Speedball blue & white water-soluble ink + retarder
Strathmore Printmaking paper, 400 series, 280 g/m2