22 July 2016

Introduction to linocut printmaking

A short course - three intense evenings. Linocuts can be printed without a press and don't need a lot of "stuff".

My first "reveal" (on the right, a japanese baren)
In the first session we learned about tools -
Gouges for woodcutting, but can be used for lino also
I speedily found these, and some "plastic lino"
... and about cutting - the V gouge for lines and contours, the round one for removal -
Note the position of the hand (behind the cutting) and the angle of the tool
Warm the lino - and use a grippy mat to stop it slipping (though I found that sometimes it's useful to be able to turn the lino as you cut, for a circle for instance). "You have more control if you stop now and again" said Anne Marie. You don't have to press hard! The width of the line depends on the pressure.

Before inking, use a bristle brush to get rid of any "bits". 

We used Safewash inks - oil based, so they don't dry out immediately, but can be washed with water, and you can use vegetable oil to get rid of any oil residue.
Some test prints, trying to get the amount of ink right, and
 using the baren to rub
 Before the next class I drew out a couple more scenes (from my "Home" series of drawings) onto lino, but didn't get round to attempting to cut them. Too detailed! Will have to rethink,,,

The recently-purchased "plastic lino", and the pattern of a ceramic plate seen in a book, led to a quick block and some experiments with multiple prints and ghost prints -
The jig for registration consists of a piece of cardboard the same size as the printing paper. Place the block in position and draw round it; once the inked block is in place, the paper is aligned with the card,
Multipositional tryouts

Exciting inking with two colours happening next to me
Some people were using caustic soda to texture sections of the surface, but I decided to leave that for another day. Did try using the relief press, though, and it gave a smoothly dark print. Can similar results be obtained with my bookbinding press?

The third session was about using colour. First Anne Marie showed a block she'd textured with stop-out varnish (the dark bits) and caustic soda, printed in blue -
 I'd made another little plate to try out some textures -
My two-colour trial was a revelation - I'll be looking for ways to use that technique in my project.
Then it was on with my psychedelic not-quite-circle. Anne Marie suggested using extender ink to make paler and darker versions of the colour - and in retrospect I wish I'd done that - but somehow I got sidetracked into mixing first a pale orange and then adding yellow - not that successful as a top layer, so I tried a darker orange instead.
The registration jig in action
What a difference a colour makes
Psychedelic filigree?
Some plain blocks printed up for later 
Hanging up to dry on the ingenious marble rack
Colour blending -
And the effect it can have -
Elsewhere around the table -

The printmaking room at City Lit -

(This post is linked to Off the Wall Friday.)


The Idaho Beauty said...

Fascinating. And what an excellent class curriculum over the three days. I've taken one hands on class (was terrible with teacher mostly leaving us to our own devices) and one online packed with info but of course lacking the advantage of being in the same room with teacher & other students. This looks to be well worth your time.

Plum Cox said...

That looks like a lot of fun! Love all your different ideas and examples - thanks for sharing!

Linda M said...

Looks like a great class, I love your circle patterns.

Olga Norris said...

I think your Home series would be great as relief prints. The book press should work ok - sounds like a good project.

Judy Kiesow said...

What a great class!! I love the results.