My home town, Canmore (Alberta) is nestled in the mountains. We have a lot of glorious peaks around to take our breath away.
One remarkable peak in Canmore is called Ha Ling Peak. It’s a popular hiking destination, and the views of Canmore from the peak are spectacular. This peak also looks pretty awesome from below.
Ha Ling is the peak at the northwestern end of the Lawrence Grassi range (it’s the bump on the right in this photo). You can read more about how it got its name here.
Often, if bad weather comes to town, it comes in over top of this range. Even on a nice day, the wind pushes the clouds up over the peak in a wonderful display that I just had to catch in my linocut artwork.
It all starts with a sketch on tracing paper using a heavy graphite pencil (4B-6B). I lay the sketch down on the block, then rub the back to transfer the design to the block so it’s ready for carving.
Next, I begin to carve. The lines of the clouds are just a guide, and I go forward by “gut”. I’ll use several different carving tool sizes to create a variety of lines for interest.
The sky is done. Now, to tackle the detail in the foreground.
The block is ready to receive the first layer of ink. The pencil will get covered by the black ink, so I don’t bother removing it. If I was printing a light or transparent color, I would remove the graphite marks with a little canola oil on a paper towel.
For this print, I tested a solid black foreground, but felt it needed something more on the bottom to balance out the ‘busy’ sky.
I will often carve more off the block once I ink it up for the first time. I make adjustments until I am happy with the print.
I decided to add in the water line from the original reference photo, since this photograph was taken from along the shore of the Bow River.
Each print is inked then pulled by hand as most of the ink will transfer from the block to the paper.
A look at the block and the print!
Several prints drying on my line in the studio. They’ll take about a week to fully dry before I package them in cello wrap.
Want to see the process in action? Watch this 1-minute video for the overview!