Linocuts introduces the tools, techniques and range of mark making possible using linocuts.
Keywords from the project brief:
- Marking out a grid on your lino of four squares by six squares
- Make cuts and patterns using one blade only in each square
- Make a note in your learning log of which square has marks made by which tool
- Make notes about how you might use the different textures and cut lines to represent your ideas
For this exercise I created three test prints:
- Experimenting with different blades, mark making and textures
- Marking making, shapes and textures for my first single cut linocut
- Marking making, shapes and textures for my second single cut linocut
For me this exercise was about learning how to use the tools and familiarisation with medium and print process.
I bought a set of lino cutting tools for an exercise in Illustration 1 and was subsequently advised to invest in sharper tools. I got a second higher quality set from Intaglio.
There is a big difference between using the different sets and after creating my first single colour lino cut I’m not not using the red set at all.
Test cut 1 – mark making and textures
The first test cut used all blades from all the tools in different combinations. I didn’t have a fixed idea of the marks, I just let the different blades suggest what I should do.
The cut was quick; probably finished in a couple of hours. I took a print at both home and then again in the print studio. Note that there is a more detailed reflection of the print process in Exercise 2 – Single colour linocut.
I’ve referred back to this print on numerous occasions for texture ideas.
Test cut 2 – Lucky find
I needed to check whether the different components in my Lucky find design would work. In this test cut, I tried out each key element of the design including variants to test which was most successful. These were then taken forward into the final print.
The cut took a long time and in hindsight I was using the tools in a very controlled and unexpressive manner.
The print was made at home without a press so the ink is a bit patchy in places.
Test cut 3 – St Nicholas’ Church
Like Test Cut 2, this print was made to test out different elements of two ideas I had for a print:
- Cat on a wall (a narrative idea I may develop later)
- A view of St Nicholas’ Church (a print I went on to create in Exercise 2 – Single colour linocuts
I think the final print is really interesting. I like the way the different panels work, with single, double and quadruple panel combinations. I find the composition and inter-relationships between the different panels engaging; this composition is something I’d like to explore further, and is analogous to the way a reader might read a comic strip.
What went well
- I found this a valuable exercise because opened my eyes to the possibilities of mark making and being inventive around creating textures. It will provide reference for future prints.
- It gave me insight into how best to use the medium; I discovered that it is possible to force the lino to behave in a certain way (like in most of Test Cut 2), but is hard work and the results are not very expressive. I changed my approach for Test Cut 3, and started to work with the tools which I think resulted in a much more interesting and successful print.
- Spending money on high quality tools pays dividends.
What would I differently/better
- Using the printing press at Kew Studio gave better, more even results than working at home, and the process was quicker. Using a press will save a lot of time when printing editions.