Friday, 4 February 2011

Blue girl

A little while ago I had the vague idea that I wanted to do a lino print portrait. I didn't really want to do a portrait of an actual person, but I needed something as a starting point.

I was flicking though some old Fortean Times magazines and found a story about the disturbing and fascinating Dyatlov Pass incident. Along the top of the title pages was a row of pictures of the young skiers that were killed in the incident, the picture that I found most interesting was of a girl called Ludmila Dubinina. It might sound morbid (as the story is really quite sad) but she had a nice smile, so I decided that this would be the starting point for my linocut.

I didn't refer to the photo after an initial drawing, and i then put it in a drawer and didn't look at it for two months, which is why the end result doesn't look anything like her. I wanted this to be a print of a girl, something I could experiment with and paint blue or green, not of an actual, real person.

Here are some pictures of my progress (top photo taken on my phone from my very crinkled copy of Fortean Times!):

I printed it in black oil-based ink and then after letting the prints dry for a few days, I tinted them with blue watercolours.

It's not my favourite print. I was unhappy with my first few proofs, but after quite a bit of extra cutting (and a bit of repair work where I got overenthusiastic with the knife...) I am reasonably happy with it.

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