Monday, November 23, 2009

Learning to use the Press, Sketching, and All that Jazz

 I've been practicing on my new press: The first few prints I pulled were pretty poor (uneven pressure) but with a "sliding board" (plexiglass sheet in the pic above) and some felts, the problem was solved. I was able to print some really nice prints from it... YAY!


I've also been working on the sketch for a new reduction print. My model for this one is Cliff:

My original drawing is on the top... the others are photocopies of my drawing... I had to bring it to Staples and shrink it a bit to fit on my linoleum piece! Thankfully I only had to "try" twice, so it was only 14 cents. I hate having to make a gazillion photocopies, trying to get it JUST RIGHT for the block. Waste of money and paper! But by golly, no matter how much I try I cannot draw my original drawing to the exact size I want it. It's always too big... always. :o)

This reduction will be challenging because the dog bed is laying on an oriental rug. Ack! I've never even drawn an oriental rug, much less carved and did a reduction of one. AND I haven't done a reduction in almost 8 months, because I had such a high failure rate and got discouraged... Gulp. I need to get back on the horse, but I'm sooo nervous.

In the meantime I'm doing a quick sketch for a 1-color linocut that I want to enter in the Art Show at the Dog Show this year. I'll try that before the reduction-it will be nice practice on my new press.

I have 4 pet portraits I'm doing for 'clients' (customers?) for holiday presents too. Three will be in charcoal, and one will be in oil pastel. And my brother Jeff asked that I do 2 "historical" pieces for his new apartment- one the Roman Colosseum and another a 1940's era Berlin cityscape (he is a history Ph.D. candidate with a specialty in WW2)...each 22 x 30... this will be challenging... haven't done buildings in years much less that huge scale.

Will I have time to do my Xmas cards? 2-color reduction of junco's (winter birds up here)... dunno. Not looking hopeful although my sketch is done. I may have to skip Xmas cards this year... sigh.

And I'll end this post with a cutie picture of the three hounds. I hung some suet from my backyard birch tree in hopes of drawing in some Hairy and Downy woodpeckers to photograph. The dogs came outside with me to hang out, but only Jack was really "intrigued" by the suet. I think he really wanted to eat it- crazy dog.


Sarah said...

I bet that suet smelled delicious to them...that is a really cute picture. Glad to hear the new press is working well! So awesome that you made it! have a great turkey free turkey day! :)

IHateToast said...

I had the weirdest conversation the other day.
Brooke: What is E-T-S-Y?
Katy: Etsy. (I explain what it is.)
Brooke: There's this woman on Etsy who makes the most amazing prints of Greyhounds. They look like line drawings, but the detail is so perfect. Her name is Elle. (Brooke goes on about Elle.)
Katy: Send me the link.

Brooke sends me the link. "Elle" is you. Jen. Elle. Tomayto, tomahto. I remember thinking that I didn't want to see another person's prints. I'd feel disloyal. I was happy to find that Elle is Jen.

I've let her know that "Elle" is a blogger. You might be getting some orders, Elle.

IHateToast said...

She clarified. We were talking about two people. I think your last name threw her and she never tried to say it, so in my mind it was one person. Now I remember there was the cards woman (Elle) and the print woman on Etsy (you). Anyway, she was all a fuss about your Etsy site.