I have already done a picture of Llyn Idwal, the one with the curse that prevented any bird flying across its dark waters and the heron that was oblivious to that curse. However the previous image was a woodcut and I wanted to have another go at that scene with lino but not do a straight repeat. Luckily I had another view of Llyn Idwal from a slightly different angle as I followed the Heron across the lake in my sketches.
Again wasn't really sure where I was going with this so did a bit more colouring in of the tracing to get more of a feel for the contrast, chiaroscuro etc..
From this colouring I realised it was important to keep the depth of view between the foreground rock, lake, the moraine at the head of the lake, and looming above Tryfan. So the rock had to be pale and the mass of Tryfan quite dark but with some detailing. I really couldn't decide what colour to do the lake so left it blank to be 'filled in later'. But then sitting across the studio and staring at the drawing for a while (Important part of an artists practice, staring) it came to me that it needed to be very pale and flat.
For this print I decided to experiment with a new set of inks I had bought as I was unable to get hold of a yellow in the inks I currently use. Problems at the manufacturing end apparently and as all these water soluble inks are not cross compatible I had to buy a complete new set in which included a yellow. I went for a Schmincke set of inks as the colours looked good and another very fine linocut artist I know call Robert Gilmor uses them, with stunning results.
Their consistency is much more liquid and thinner than my previous inks and it seemed harder to get a good graduated mix without it almost seeming too runny and the roller skidding over the ink. Once on the block that thinness meant the ink didn't seem to cover very well. Almost as if was drying as I applied it. The first print seemed okay until I tried to peel the paper of the block, where it felt as if the ink had dried as I was printing and the paper was almost stuck to the lino! It took very careful peeling to remove the paper without leaving half of it behind.
Too much pressure? not enough ink? too much white ink? I kept going but had to re-mix more ink for each image, so seemed to be using a lot more than usual but then it looked as if there was not enough ink on the paper once I had printed. The colour, what there was of it, was really nice on the paper, it held a very accurate edge on even the finest cutting but just seemed too thin. Oh and of course nearly took the paper apart getting it off. Wrong paper?
Looks okay though. Some nice elements where the ink is so thin it shows the baren marks, which I always like. Bit dispirited by the whole thing really so I left it at that and went home...