Thursday, 29 September 2016

the golden frog

the golden frog
reduction linocut by Teresa Newham

When my husband called to me that a frog had hopped out of the bushes while he was watering the garden, I grabbed my iPhone and hoped for the best.  I wasn't disappointed; our visitor obligingly posed for photos, even moving into a more accessible position for me to snap away.

the original photo
© Teresa Newham
I was looking for a demo subject for #HertsOpenStudios; and there he was.  The perfect opportunity to explore the ins and outs of making a reduction linocut with the new softcut lino I've been using this Summer!

creating the design
© Teresa Newham
With the design finalised, I realised that my usual method of tracing it onto the lino would only work up to a point.  I needed to ink over the tracing, in order to cut away the various colours successfully, but my usual waterproof pen would not work.  In the end, I looked on the internet and used a Sharpie, which seemed ideal.

transferring the design
© Teresa Newham
Unfortunately I soon realised that the Sharpie was coming off on my hands as I cut the white areas away; and sure enough, when I printed the yellow plate, the lines of the design printed along with it.  This didn't matter in the places which would be covered by brown or black ink, but careful cutting would be required to ensure that it didn't show on the yellow.

the first printing
© Teresa Newham
I decided to change the colour of some leaves at the bottom of the image from yellow to black to counteract this, but regretted it almost as soon as the brown plate was printed - somehow the picture had lost its balance.  What's more, the brown was simply too dark when contrasted with the yellow. Ironically, the complicated cut itself had gone well!

adding the second colour
© Teresa Newham
I carried on regardless - I had to demonstrate something, after all - and the result isn't too bad;  it's not what I envisaged, however, and I'm sure I can improve on this.  For now he looks jolly enough, anyway . . . 

the finished print
© Teresa Newham








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