A Lesson with a Green Woodpecker

The finished green woodpecker

This is my first finished reduction print of 2023. I printed the first peachy coloured layer on Christmas Eve 2022. It’s taken me many weeks to complete the print. I do linocut art around my day job and everyday life, snatching little pockets of time to print when I can. Printing isn’t a full time hobby. 

First layer of the green woodpecker reduction print

Too Much Time Hanging On The Line

Have you experienced England in December? It is cold and wet. Ink will take longer to dry in these conditions. Dank humidity will mess with the shape of your paper, especially if you leave it hanging by a peg over Christmas. My paper warped, just by a millimetre or two, but enough for subsequent layers to print misaligned. Thanks a bunch, gravity!

Gravity will stretch paper in a damp environment if you leave the paper hanging for too long
Pesky misalignment

Just Keep Going!

It was annoying. A lot of time goes into carving and printing by hand. In the future, if I know I won’t be able to print for a long time, I will store my paper flat in between glassine sheets. Don’t leave your half finished reduction prints hanging! I learned a lesson by making mistakes and this is something self taught practitioners have to be stoic about. I’m happy I can share what I have learnt with you.

You can’t fixing printing mistakes with reduction printing, so just keep going. I’m glad I did. The green woodpecker isn’t perfect but it is finally finished and I love the feel of this print. I mixed my own colours and I like the vintage traditional style. I hope you do too!

Published by MStraccia Art

I create original folk style relief prints and illustrations by hand.

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