Sunday, October 30, 2011

Xmas Card Sketches

Switching gears now and working on the Schuyler House xmas card.  I always do a castle theme, as that's the company logo, and this year I was thinking of doing something with a long, tall castle window.

Something like this:

Or this:

But it seems so static.  So I thought about adding a couple of castle denizens, and maybe a tree just peaking into the picture.  I've wanted to stick a castle ornament on a tree for a couple years now, but I haven't found a look I liked.  This is getting there.

I might move the castle over to the middle of the tree, or add another mouse to the tree, reaching for an ornament, as Steph suggested.  I'll play with it a bit more.

Now back to editing the fighter poem collection.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Signing all these cards is a pain in the...wrist.  ;- ]  Over half way there, then stuff them in a mailer and send them winging on their way.

Fly little dragonflies!  They're on their way!  =8-D 

Such a relief.  I feel like I can turn around and jump right into a new block, but I know that's just the high that comes from a finished project.  But shortly I'll have to dive into the xmas card block.  No rest for the over-extended.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Color Variations

Here's a variety of the colorways for my Paleo-Dragonflies.  They're all basically brown with red wings.  I mixed up the brown from yellow, red and blue, so depending on how I mixed the ink, it got lighter or darker.

I like that frankly because I go mad doing the same thing over and over again (makes you wonder why I'd want to do editions, doesn't it?), and this way I can entertain my brain while I work.  ;-]

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Cutting the cards apart.

A little over 100 prints.  Haven't counted exactly.
The pile is a shade shy of 2" tall.

They should fit in a Priority Mail envelope, all spread out.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

One Block Too Far

I knew I shouldn't've printed that last dragonfly.  The ink was getting gunky, but there was one more place on the strip.  Needless to say it won't see the light of day.

I'm fairly sure I printed enough for the exchange, given the occasional poor print.  I must say there were very few misprints, most of them pushing the ink past its nature.  I need to print 100+ prints more often.  ;- j

I'm glad we decided on 101 prints in this collection.  It's been an interesting and surprising experience printing so many.  I'll count them up tomorrow and make sure I have enough.

Then I'll cut them apart and start the arduous task of signing and numbering them all.  I left room to sign the front, but there really isn't enough room for the title, etc.  So I'll initial the front and sign the back.  Afterall, they are Artist Trading Cards, right?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Today's Production

Another productive morning.  As others have noted, once you cross the 50th print, you're sort of in the groove.  I cranked out another 33 prints today.  I could have continued but we're time-sharing the kitchen table and Bill wanted his breakfast.  ;- j  Tomorrow, Monday for sure, I'll have them all done.  They're drying really fast.

It really was in the groove.  The day wasn't dry like it was yesterday -- I had an idea it might be good printing when we found ourselves in a cloud last night when we took Loki for his walkies.  I only had to clean the block a couple times in all that printing, and the ink wasn't drying out as fast either.

I'm really in the groove now.  No wasted motion anymore.  I love it when the block practically prints itself.  Tore down more paper strips (4 and 5 to a strip, as it turns out) of Arches 88, marked them in pencil where each block should land, recarved the ends of the block to clean up the messy inky bits that were accumulating (plus opened up a couple lines that seemed to have smooshed closed -- technical term).  Also went over the block with a stylus to dig out any leftover ink that didn't clean out the day before (happens often with really fine lines I find).  Mixed my ink, cranked my press to the proper pressure, and away I went.  Color on the wings is tapping in very nicely now too.  Hope tomorrow is as groovy as today has been.  8-]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Half Way There

And then there were 50 -- give or take a couple light prints.  Goes kind of slow when I have to clean the block and refresh the ink every 5 or 6 prints.  I can sure see why there are so many printmakers in the Pacific Northwest!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Printing - Arches 88

I haven't printed on Arches 88 in ages, but I remembered it's crisp treatment of woodcuts, so I ordered some. I really like it, and its perfect for the mini-cards for ex. 50.

It's dry as all get out here today and its sucking the moisture out of the ink. This is the 7th print in a row and it's getting all gunked up.

Cleaning the block and refreshing the ink and getting back to it. ;-]


Printed another set.  Here's the whole thing, 18 prints. 

I've tried printing them separately and in a strip and I prefer the strip of 4 or 5.  It's easier to place the block.  The single card can curl and is harder to register.


Here's a scan of the dragonfly.  I'm happy with the colorway.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Colorway

Working on a new colorway.  The reddish yellow didn't thrill me.  This is a brown made from yellow, blue, red (touch of black) with red tapped in on the wings.  I'm liking it.

Made a greeny brown with yellow and black, it was too green so I added blue and red.  I'll probably leave the black out on the next pass.

This is still on kozo, which I'm not sure I'll be using.  I want to try some Arches 88 before I decide.  Time to cut down paper and see.

But first some more brown prints on kozo.  It's addictive.  ;-]

25 more prints, a few of them too light.  Really goes quickly.  I'm liking this colorway a lot.  I think it's what I'll go with.

Time for a lunch break.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Test Printing

Not sure they're actual prints yet.  Playing with the color.  It definitely goes faster with a smaller block.

Clean up now and attention to some of the blurrier details.  I want to recarve a couple areas.  Around feet and the hand print.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Test Pring - Paleo-Dragonfly II

Test print done with a baren on kozo paper.

A little less flash from the camera.

All four little test prints.  As usually happens, the first couple don't take ink completely.  The block has to wake up.

I can of course make a black & white print, my default plan on any block.  But I'll give it a try with some color and see what I think.  But now that the block has been used, it'll start to swell a bit and I'll have to open up a few of the finest lines before I can print again.  Par for the course.  It used to frustrate the heck out of me, but now I just take it in stride.  ;- j

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Carving Paleo Dragonfly II

Carving away.  I'll need to widen a lot of these lines, but it's off to a good start.  Time for a break (and to roll my shoulders).


And yet more carving.

Some lines will need more work, but that's the basic critter.  ;-]  I'm thinking I'll print it in ochre and tap in a little red on the wings.  See how that looks.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mini-Print Exchange #50

Here's the block for the mini-print exchange #50.  We'll be doing a whopping 100 prints to exchange!  What a collection.  8-]  High time I get going on it.

This is another paleo-dragonfly in my Paleo Mythos series.  The original of this design is an acid etching:

It's a black & white intaglio print with watercolor accents, approx. 3"x5".

Paleo-dragonfly II will be a woodcut, 2.5"x3.5".  I'm still dithering on color(s).


Carving, carving.  Itty bitty has its challenges.