Thursday, 28 April 2022

Redwings in the Holly



Redwings in the Holly
reduction linocut by Teresa Newham

I can't remember how long I've spent on this print - it seems like ages - but it is finally finished and I've had some great feedback about it already. Having struggled to get started, as described in an earlier post, I found it easier going once I was able to focus on the birds themselves.


intermediate neutral layer 
© Teresa Newham

I began this next phase with a layer of white plus a little added burnt umber, to counteract any ink from previous layers which had gone into the areas where the birds and berries would print.  This gave a rather spooky result but at least I could work out what the next step should be.


ghostly white birds suddenly appeared
© Teresa Newham


I wanted to print the red berries and the black eye, yellow beak and red markings on the birds in one layer.  This required partial inking on the bird bodies and adding very small areas of the other colours with a rubber-gloved finger. I was careful to wipe away any stray traces of colour which had wandered onto the rest of the lino.


trying to keep track of what I was doing
© Teresa Newham



The print was completely transformed.  The red made it come alive, and the effect was so striking that I could almost have dispensed with the final layer and kept things as they were.  There was a lot of love for it on Instagram even at this stage.


tempted to leave it right here
© Teresa Newham

For the final layer I cut away around the birds' speckled chests and inked up wet in wet with two shades of brown, again wiping everything clean around the areas I was printing.  The birds looked positively jaunty on the lino.


fine detail on the birds
© Teresa Newham

I'm pleased with the finished print - it might even find its way to the bi-annual Awagami International Mini Print exhibition in 2023. Several people have remarked that the finished print would make a good Christmas card, so I'll have to bear that in mind!


the finished print 
© Teresa Newham







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