Yet another sketch book (this should have been published about a fortnight ago)

I like making them more than using them at the moment. This one incorporates ideas from the first two. The covering paper is some wonderful wrapping paper from the Bodelian library. Linings are two lino cut prints i had lying around. There is now room for a pen. It is bound with proper book tape from the wonderful Vintage Paper Company in Orkney. Where you can also get unsold watercolour paper made in the early 20th century.

Shelduck 4

Printing on the third layer. This should be the colour of the chestnut band around the bird’s chest. Below are the basic tools of the trade.

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The paper located on the Boswell device. The baren, which is the black disk you rub the back of the print with to transfer the ink from the block. A sheet of glass with the ink rolled out “just so” and the roller, which I think printers call the braer for some reason. This is my new soft roller, bought on Laura Boswell’s advice,and she was right, it really makes a difference.

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Paper in place, about to be lowered onto the inked block. Some of the block had been cut away since the previous yellow printing, so they should stay yellow. The rest of the yellow should be covered by the burnt sienna.

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The print lifted after buffing the back with the baren. Next layer will be the red beak, but I really need to leave this to dry fully before doing any more.

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Shelduck 3

Second colour now printed. This should largely be hidden on the final print, but just show through in some places and just round the edges of certain parts like the beak.

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I’ve carved out the body on the second block and am beginning to sketch in the background. Not at all sure how this will develop. On the first block, on the left, you can begin to see how more and more is being cut away. In the end it will only have those areas which are to be black left.

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Shelduck print 2

First layer printed on the left. This should eventually just show the shaded, white parts of the bird, plus the pure white areas. In the middle, I have started to carve out the negative area of the bird, and the background will eventually go around this. On the right, I have started to reduce the bird block. The grey, shaded areas of the bird are cut away, so that they will not be overlain by the next colour layer, which will probably be yellow, which doesn’t seem that logical at this stage. But all must dry first. 

Shelduck print 1

I’ve decided to start with a print of a shelduck. They are beautiful, but fairly simple in shape. One duck with a twisted neck, based on my Internet sketches.

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First a quick sketch of the duck against reeds. Then a slightly more careful sketch on a piece of scrap paper with a rectangle the size of the lino block on it. This was traced off on tracing paper so it could be reversed and transferred to the lino.

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I’m going to make two blocks, the first one shown here which will just be the duck. I’ve carved it’s outline carefully and then will remove all the lino from around it. If I use just one block, I think there may be too many layers of ink, and I was having trouble getting my mind around it all.

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This basic outline of the bird was transferred to a second lino block by printing it onto a piece of teaching paper, and then printing this wet image onto the second piece of lino. All held in place with the Boswell device, so it should line up… The black area of this second image needs to be removed completely, and what is left them used to print the background, reeds, water etc. Long way to go yet. I have 8 sheets or Zirkal paper, so there will be 8 prints maximum, if I don’t spoil any.