illustration

Zebra under the Bridge

Upon discovering the dramatic looking stairs and graffiti-covered walls under St Eriksbron, I've decided this small bit of Stockholm deserves a print of its own. I knew it was to be a big black-and-white print (like the tiger on Urvädersgränd) - what caught my eye first was the texture of the concrete, and then, the enormous structure in shadow in contrast with the bright sky. 

I thought the zebra would be the perfect animal for this scene, just to push myself further in terms of different lines and textures. So I dug out photos I took of the zebras at Kolmården last year and started working. 

Carving the block (30 x 45 cm) took three weeks; despite being a one-block black-and-white, this turned out to be the most labor-intensive print I've ever made with all the bits and pieces. The constant visualizing and decision making also add to the intensity (and the fun!),

I used the Dremel tool I got as Christmas present last year to clear out a lot of the sky; with the first test proof (left one below) I wanted to see how the sanded texture would look would work with the lines on the stairs. In the end I carved away all the sky - the open part on the right bring out the stairs even more and the whole print just look much more dramatic. 

I also tweaked a lot of small things - marked on the text print with post-it's as you can see. At this point I also like to take a couple of days away from the print and see how I feel about the way things are. 

So here's the final print, which I'm calling St Eriksbron, is a limited edition of 20 prints on Hosho paper, each signed and numbered at the bottom. The print measures 30 x 45 cm, and the paper 40 x 55 cm. You can find the print in the shop

 

Linocut, S:t Johannes Kyrka (St. John's Church)

This will be an update with mostly process pictures of my first two-color reduction linocut, S:t Johannes Kyrka (St. John's Church).

Making this print was really challenging but also great fun, so I tried to photo and document everything. If you have any questions about any step or something I used, feel free to comment and I'll be happy to answer.

I've been drawing, carving, proofing and printing non-stop for the past two weeks, and the next week will be the last before the deadline for next year's

Liljevachs

Spring Salon (Liljevachs vårsalong). Background information: Liljevachs public art gallery was opened in 1916 as the first independent, public museum for contemporary art in Sweden. I am planning to apply with a couple of my original linocuts, including two new reduction prints featuring churches and rooftops in Stockholm.

S:t Johannes Kyrka is the first of the two and is the view of

Vasastan

roofs with the church's peaking Gothic tower. I've been going up to the roof park on Sveavägen to look at the amazing geometry; this linocut is my interpretation of it.

I started with a sketch in Photoshop. Here's what I learned: clipping masks work great when sketching for reduction prints. Nothing fancy at this stage - just messy doodle to show myself the overall composition and colors.

I did a quick transfer, tracing the outline (I printed it out to A3, same size with the block) and draw the details right onto the block. Here's me carving for the first layer. 

At this point I'm carving away what I want to leave white. 

First test proof of the lighter-colored layer. I'm making two editions, with this layer being red or yellow. 

I made enough prints of the first layer, in both colors, to give myself some margin for error in registration. Prints would hang to dry for 3 - 4 days before I print the second layer. 

This is the yellow one - a bright, rich color that really reminds one of the sunrise on a beautiful day. 

When the prints were hanging on the wire, I cleaned the block using baby wipes and baby oil, then started carving more from the block to prepare for the second layer. Here I'm carving away what I wanted to leave yellow/red. 

First test print! Apart from the dark color not saturated enough, I also marked with little stickers all the places I wanted to tweak before printing the final edition. Oh, also - you'll notice I signed this test print in Chinese :)

Printing the final edition :) Registration turned out great, and the dark color really made the lighter one pop.

Another angle - 

And the completed print, in yellow and dark gray (Sunrise), or red and dark purple (Sunset).

Can you spot the squirrel?

Some details on the print: 

Well, that's the print :) It's available for purchase in my shop

here

. Limited edition of 10 original linocuts for both colors; the design measures A3 and is printed on Hosho paper. 

Until next time!

/Tian

Blackbird & Rowanberries, Linocut

A couple of pictures to record the process of making my new linocut with a blackbird on a rowanberry branch. We had a blackbird nest in the garden this summer and we watched three eggs turn into beautiful birds.

Blackbirds come often to the rowanberry trees in our garden and this print is inspired by them.

Starting with a carving out linoleum - I'm using Jack Richeson this time. 

Prints hanging to dry. These are printed with Caligo oil-based ink on 200 gram Hahnemühle paper.

Hand-coloring the prints with watercolor. 

Getting to the leaves on the branch, mixing in yellow, blue to get different shades of green.

The print measures 23 x 30.5 cm (or 9" x 12") and the paper roughly 40 x 40 cm (16" x 16").

The print is available for purchase

in my shop

Have a great week!

/Tian

The Truth about Love

So I named my latest linocut Kärlek (love) for apparent reasons. I tried to work in some gruesomeness, some depth and some humor. Pretty happy with how the final prints look!

Now, as usual, some process pictures - 


I've been using A4 sized linoleum blocks so I usually just sketch on a piece of printer paper.


After transferring the outline, I drew the design on the lino again with a brush marker. Then carve -


Here's how it looks at the final stages. I added some more details along the way. 


I mixed a nice red with Caligo's ink plus a lot of extender and a little big white to tone down the brightness just a little.


I printed in both this red and black, like in the beginning of the post. 


The prints are available in two colors in my shop; and soon postcards of this design in even more colors will come out too :) They will be ready for purchase through my autumn Kickstarter campaign also. Stay tuned - follow me on Facebook or Instagram, or say hello!

Enjoy a nice midsummer weekend!
/Tian