Oh What A Relief It Is!

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. 


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