So I decided I wanted the background of this American rivers print to look western, maybe vaguely like a Pendleton blanket. I chose some almost-garish earth tones (Pendleton uses some pretty wild colors) and used a series of masks and stencils that I cut from acetate. Here's a closeup of the first mask held in place with some artist's tape.
In this case, I pulled back the acetate, inked the block with orange, pulled the masks back onto the block, laid down the paper and printed.
I did this with two more colors, a green and then a light blue that created a darker green.
These photos were taken at night, so they aren't very good, but you get the idea. Printing a woodblock with stencils and masks gives you a funky edge -- blotchy if you ink and then mask, and feathery if you ink through a stencil. But it's one way to work from a single block without cutting into it.
Next I'll be carving some words.