What I did last Summer..

Thought I’d post a little bit about my earliest adventures in lino, starting last with my third ever lino project I tried, using my little starter kit from the V&A, at home, before  took the course at Edinburgh Printmakers.

I used two old sketches of ancient celtic designs from the Book of Kells (I think, will need to go and check that), and combined them into one design.

Here I was experimenting with reduction printing, meaning that the design is built up in stages, with the lino block being cut into (reduced) a little more for each print.

celtic dogs linocut reduction print

celtic dogs lino cut

1: This pic shows a test print mid way through the first cutting stage – after this I also cut away the rounded shape around the dogs. The result after the first print (not pictured) was a background and doggy outline in white, with the rounded shape and dogs filled in palest blue.

2:Next, I cut away the rounded shape, inked the block with a mid blue, then printed on top of the first prints. The rounded shape is left in the pale blue, and everything else is now mid blue. The white outlines meant that any registration errors weren’t too noticeable.

3: This image was printed at the same time as no 2, but onto a new piece of paper – the result is simply the dog shapes without the rounded background.

4. Working on the print from no. 3 – I cut away the inside shapes from the dogs, leaving a thin border shape to be inked and printed in darker blue- not so keen on this version.

By the end of the exercise I’d lost many prints along the way to poor regristration, patchy ink (was using thickish watercolour paper which didn’t really work very well at all) and other mishaps. The worst thing though was noticing a fundamental schoolgirl flaw in my knotwork design (can you spot it?) which rendered the whole thing throwaway in any case – how frustrating!

But I had learned a lot about the reduction process, and was actually reasonably pleased with some of the results in any case. I might revisit that design again some time…

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