Single colour linocut
Here the task was to create an print using a single lino cut block, in a single colour. For this I chose an image of a local landmark – the bass rock in the Firth of Forth. Here’s the finished print:
Development and cutting the block
1. I started with a rough sketch from a photo of the rock using white pencil on black paper to help to plan the print:
2. The Bass Rock is famous for its gannet colony – I found some online photos of gannets and sketched and traced a selection, adjusting them to the right size for the print. (I got permission to use the photos – they include images by Tim Parkinson @ flickr.com/timparkinson.
3. I traced all the elements of the picture, cut them out and arranged them against black paper to create the composition…
4. …then traced over the whole thing:
5. Then transferred the traced image to the lino block using carbon paper. I sketched the waves and sky contours straight onto the lino.
6. Here’s the final lino block:
Printing at home with the water-based inks, I again had to find the balance between not enough ink (patchy results) and too much (ink flowing onto the cut areas). However this time I had much more success by using a wooden spoon instead of my Japanese baren! The spoon let me apply more pressure so that I didn’t have to apply so much ink to get a good print. At the same time I actually found that the “patchy” result you get when you don’t have enough ink/pressure was perfect for adding texture to the image of the rock. So I deliberately applied more pressure to the sea and sky, and less to the rock’s vertical sides – hopefully you can see what I mean here:
I enjoyed this one, and think I may create a longer edition of this print as I’m quite pleased with how it’s come out. The bit I’m least pleased with is the lighthouse – it’s just not as defined as I wanted it to be, but it’s not bad.