Today I made a relief print called a reduction print. This process has a lot of steps and requires precision and planning, so it was a relief to have it work out. How could I resist a pun there?
A while back, I tried a giraffe print in a single color and it just looked strange, like its spots were some kind of rash. So this time I did a reduction print in 3 colors. Aqua and orange is probably my favorite color combination and I like how, in this print, it ended up looking a little retro.
Reduction prints are always limited edition because each time you print a new color, you have to carve more of the linoleum off the block. The number of prints in the edition has to be decided at the beginning.
I started out printing solid blue.
Then I drew a picture of a giraffe directly onto the block and carved out the space where I wanted the print to remain blue.
I inked up the second pass in a peach color and printed on top of the blue.
Now it's time for the last color pass, a dark orange. I washed off the peach ink and drew some more detail on the giraffe. Then I carved off a third round of linoleum, inked it up with the orange and printed once more.
This is a limited edition of five (that print on the upper left is a proof). As you might have figured out, the linoleum block ends up being destroyed in the process of reduction printing.
I put off reduction printing for a long time thinking that it would be too much effort for a limited edition. Or maybe I was scared I would make a huge mess of things. I knew I'd eventually get around to trying this out and I'm so glad I finally did. This is my favorite print so far!
You can find the giraffe print here at my Etsy shop.