Mark Twain's Lake Tahoe
"...at last the Lake burst upon us—a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still!" - Mark Twain, from Roughing It.
Medium: Seven-Color, Linoleum Block Print
Titled: "A Noble Sheet of Blue Water"
Edition Size: 9
Available for purchase at
It feels great to have finally finished this print, though it wasn't without its challenges! I've included some work in progress shots below and the first shows the finished carving for the first layer of colors of the print. I laid out my colors of ink, which I mixed on glass for a blue roll on the bottom (water), with a separate yellow roll on top (sky). The top roll is a "rainbow" roll with two tones of yellow, creating a color gradient, which adds a little more time to the printing process but creates a cool effect. I made a little template, which is above the linoleum in the photo, to help keep ink off the middle area of the block, while I rolled ink on the linoleum with the two brayers (rollers).
The wooden device on the right is a homemade registration jig that I put on the etching press to make sure the paper and lino block are lined up correctly, so that each subsequent color layer is printed exactly on the layer below it as the printing process continues. Most importantly, there's coffee.
Next, is a shot of the Lake Tahoe print after the first four colors. I used the reduction method for the second layers on the sky and water. Now, I'm ready to carve the mountains on the second block of linoleum.