Thursday, 25 February 2016

Weeks two and three of linoprinting

Design based on a photo I took on a visit to Freightliners farm
We learned during Week 1 how to cut a design into a piece of lino and print it using an Albion press. During the next two weeks we were given the time to work on a bigger print which we designed and cut at home.

I had taken some photos of the animals on a sketching outing to Freightliners farm last year with the idea that I would develop them into something later on. I discarded the photos of the ducks, fun though they were. I also considered and rejected the cattle, hens and sheep. I settled on the goats. I love goats and I've tried to draw them in the past but they won't stop still and they're either butting each other or sticking their noses in my bag to see what's in there for them.

I chose to concentrate on just one goat and hoped there would be enough to keep the eye interested with the grass in the foreground and the fence posts in the background. I made the print above using a blend of two colours (blue and yellow making green) and I hadn't realised that such an easy technique could be so effective.

So, for Week 3 I was all fired up to develop this design further by printing it in two colours. We'd all been encouraged to cut a second piece of lino (the same size as the first one) and print a ghost print of the design on it as a guide for cutting. I happily cut away at the second piece of lino at home and assumed that I had cut enough away only to find that I needed to remove more lino when I got back to the class.

I wanted to print this in green and black but I felt that I had chosen a green that was too dark so it is difficult to see where it ends and the black begins. However, some people looked at it and liked the fact that it was dark. My teacher also pointed out that I had rolled too much ink onto my lino and you can see the indentations from the lino on the paper. Note to self: use less ink.

You can see there is too much black ink on this print
I think the final print is quite lively and has some kind of atmosphere but I think I've got a way to go before I can consider myself competent. Fortunately you can make lino prints at home without a press so I can practice my technique in the comfort of my own home while I build up my confidence.

I have two books on printmaking that I can recommend. They are: Colour Linocut Printing by Laura Boswell and Relief Printmaking: a manual of techniques by Colin Walklin.