Adventures in Printmaking – Day 2 – Lino Cuts

Okay so today was Lino-cuts

The Tools: lino cutters and spare and differing width blades…

Lino, Water Based (you can use oil based) Printing Ink and an Ink Roller.

I had planned to do the “bear” image from my day-book/sketchbook but was a little wary about how it might come out as its quite a complex image, so instead I thought I’d use the morning to run off a couple of tests based on a couple of other project sketches from my day-book.

Here you can see I’ve drawn onto the lino with a drawing pen, and then I’ve begun to cut away the lino using the cutting tool. You have to keep in mind that you are cutting away the areas that are going to be white or un-inked on the print and so any lines that are to appear black (I’m using black ink in this case) must be left as raised areas… Oh, and cut away from you, and keep your fingers out of the way of the blade’s forward movement. If the lino is to difficult to cut you can heat it up a little with an iron* or the specially designed hotplates in the studio… this softens the lino a little.

My finished lino-cut in this case ended up looking like this…

I had to wait before the press was free so I did another smaller lino-cut to fill the time…

So, using the second lino-cut as an example here, spread a little ink on the inking table and roll out with the roller trying to get an even and not too thick coverage on the roller… then roll onto the printing surface of the lino-cut… avoiding dripping ink into the cutaway areas.


Here you can see me 1, placing the lino-cut face up on a sheet of newsprint on the press board, and then 2, laying the paper onto which the image will be printed over the lino-cut.

Here I’m lifting – 3, the press board (the red board) with the newsprint, the lino, the paper, more newsprint on top of that and the press blankets – all into the press and then 4, winding the press shut until it is “touch tight”, only for a second or so then unwinding the press and lifting the whole lot out again…

… then roll back the blankets, 5, remove the newsprint cover sheet, and 6, gently peel the print away from the lino hopefully without twisting or sliding it…

et voilà the first print of the day.

I decided to print the images one after the other, both came out much better than I expected…

The cool thing about this method of printing is that its so quick… within about 15 minutes I had a table full of original prints, each one slightly different from the last… I started to add a bit of red into the black ink and the smokey effect I got was great.

I also had a go at embossing… this is pretty much the same method as printing, apart from you used dampened paper and you tighten the press until you can’t turn it any more (picture a red faced veins a poppin’ image of me there – laughs).

I really liked this… I might do some more, as I think they work pretty well.

By this time it was time to break for lunch

After lunch (Starbucks, tea laced with cinnamon, and a peice of caramel shortbread and conversation – “Hi Bendy!“), I decided to work up an old image.

I’ve been promising myself to do something with this for years… I originally drew it while on my Btec when I was a student at Riley (or was it further back at Schultz?) some 19 or 20 years ago, as part of a book cover project… The book was Juliette I think by the Marquis de Sade, the image a woman removing or putting on a mask of some sort, don’t ask me why I have no idea, maybe I was a little pretentious back then… laughs.

Anyway… I got to work translating it from drawing to lino cut.

The prints came out pretty well I thought, some drop out and patchiness, but I liked that…

After the bold red of the first print I started to add a little black into the ink as it had worked well on the last set…

…eventually getting to a full black version.

I printed nine over all…

…and that is that really.

They are now all just sitting in the print-rack to dry, and I’ll pick ’em up on Monday!

Anybody wanna buy an original numbered and signed piece of art?

*What’s an iron?

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~ by hesir on July 7, 2011.

2 Responses to “Adventures in Printmaking – Day 2 – Lino Cuts”

  1. […] sixteen book covers that look as good as that one there!!!”. A blog however, in particular a creatives blog, can show process; and the other type of client (and more importantly, collaborator) such as Art Directors, Graphic […]

  2. […] one, is based on a visual I did way back on my B/tec, adapted and turned into a lino print a couple of years […]

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