Monday, November 26, 2012

Artist. Slacker (sort of).

(SPOILER ALERT - if you want my xmas card to be a surprise, don't look)

I ran out of time and energy yesterday and the result was that I had no drawing to post. I did do something creative however. I printed the first color for this year's 4-color lino-cut xmas cards. This year, I've gotten more ambitious than in years past in several ways:
  • At my husband Jim's insistence, I've come up with a registration mechanism that uses an old set of registration tabs and Post-It paper flags. We've put two hole-punched tabs on every card and now all we have to do is pray it works - because registration has always been the most difficult (read: next-to-impossible) part of the printing process because I kept thinking we could do it by just lining up the edges of the cards on the printing plate.
  • I'll be attempting to represent many more than four colors in this year's four-color print. The most colors I've ever printed on my cards is four, but usually, I break the image down into four distinct colors and it consequently ends up all a bit cartoony. This year, I'm going to attempt to make realistic gradations of color using my linoleum carving skills. Yeah, I'm not expecting this to go perfectly.
  • And, obviously, from the previous bullet, I'm going to attempt much more realism in this year's card.
  • I'm planning on printing two colors in a not-recommended order: light over dark
Three and a half hours of last night were spent printing color number one. The first color always takes longest because the inking area of the plate is the largest, and rolling them takes much longer. It took even more time than it should have when I started fretting that I totally screwed up the initial registration. The pleasant surprise was that the first color - a slightly red-shifted light blue - turned out very good with the [mindlessly-chosen-yellow-shifted-off-white] paper color.

I'm not expecting miracles with the rest of the card, because of what I'm attempting in bullet number four above: printing two lighter colors over the darkest color. Using samples of printed color from old cards, I tried mixing the two lighter colors and layering them over a darker one, and it looks like it will work. But, execution is always the hardest part of printing. 

In theory, everything works, right?

Anyway, here's a teaser of the print process (yes, that's light blue, not gray, stupid phone cam):

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