Assignment 2 – First relief prints

The work in Assignment 2 consists of a selection of work from the three projects that made up the coursework for PART 2 Introducing relief printing.

The work has been selected based on specific criteria. The work, along with the selection criteria are listed below in a logical order.

Task 1 (Project 5)

The first selection should include:

  • Two printed test cuts (mark making)

To support these prints you will have notes from your learning log.

Two printed test cuts

Notes and extracts from sketchbooks related to this exercise are here.

Test Cut 01
Test cut 01, image size 25cm x 30cm
Test Cut 03
Test cut 2, image size 25cm x 30cm


Task 2 (Project 6)

The second selection should include:

  • Three single colour linocut prints of the same edition
  • Other single colour linocuts

To support your work you will have drawings and themes starting from original ideas and developed to the layout of your final prints.

Single colour linoprint

Notes and extracts from sketchbooks related to this exercise are here.

The assignment asks for three prints of the same edition which is what has been submitted as part of the portfolio for assessment, but only one is shown here.

St Nicholas Church FINAL
St Nicholas’ Church, Pyrford, Surrey. Image size 25cm x 30cm

Other single colour linocuts

Notes and extracts from sketchbooks related to this exercise are here.

Lucky find

Girl and four leafed clover
Lucky find – Image size 25cm x 30cm

Untitled poem

Lucy Hadfield - poem
Untitled poem written by Lucy Hadfield – linocut, monoprint and liquid watercolour – Image size 50cm x 70cm

Task 3 (Project 7)

The third selection should include:

  • Three multi-block linoprints of the same edition
  • One impression in a single colour of your individual lino blocks

To support your work you will have drawings, comments and ideas for further experiments in your learning log.

Multi-block linoprint

Notes and extracts from sketchbooks related to this exercise are here.

The assignment asks for three prints of the same edition which is what has been submitted as part of the portfolio for assessment, but only one is shown here.

St Lawrence Church final print
Walk around St Lawrence Church, image size 30cm x 30cm

One impression in a single colour of your individual lino blocks

These are shown in the sequence in which they were printed below.

Block 01
Block 01
Block 02
Block 02
Block 03
Block 03


Personal assessment

The following assessment is my judgement of how I’ve performed against the Printmaking 1 Assessment Criteria including observations and areas for improvement

Printmaking 1 Assessment Criteria My assessment
Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills I continue to follow the exercises closely and covered all aspects of the different techniques.

Lino is a new material for me to work with. I did have a rudimentary understanding from school, but I’d never worked at size, with more than one colour, or on an edition.

The work demonstrates a growing confidence in working with the materials, tools and process.

I printed using both a press for the single colour prints and without for the multi-block print.

The registration device I made was very effective and efficient and made the multi-block printing a straightforward and clean process.

Both of the church linoprints used primary research as the basis to develop ideas. I explored different compositions using thumbnail sketches and then developed and iterated these further using digital tools.

Quality of Outcome – content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts,communication of ideas I continue to use my Learning Log to record the thinking, development and processes leading to a final outcome for each exercise.

I am careful to present each exercise as a logical progression and I’ve tried to make the content accessible and clear.

Demonstration of Creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice Unlike PART 1 where there were five exercises with lots of opportunity to try out quick ideas with a medium that lends itself to innovation and quick invention, I found PART 2 working with lino more constrained and process driven. This is fine and just a feature of the material.

I estimate that the creative development element of the work is about 5% of the total end-to-end process. For example, the multi-block linoprints took me 4-weeks to cut and print. This means that the sketchbook development for these prints was time limited and not as extensive as in previous exercises.

I did take onboard feedback from the first report that suggested I should be more explicit in calling out ideas and thinking in my sketchbooks. I’m not sure I’ve got that right yet.

Tutor feedback from PART 1 has made me reflect on personal voice, what that means for me and my work and where I am in the process of developing one. It feels like I’m at the ‘I know what I don’t know’ stage, which given that I’m about halfway through the first year of the course is probably about right. I am making work that does exhibit my personal voice, both in technique, style and content, but it’s not consistent and often falls short of my ambition for the work. I’m going to try and address this in PART 3 by loosening up a bit and getting back to experimentation.

The black and white print of the church probably demonstrates my personal voice most strongly, because it combines a subject that I have some affinity with that I’ve taken, developed, and distorted and then presented back in the form of a fairly expressive image. In contrast, in the final multi-block linocut, the idea and technical execution is ok but the creative design is too controlled and lacks expression.

Context – reflection, research, critical thinking (learning log)  Each exercise has a reflection section where I look at what went well and what I could do better or differently.

I visited the Paula Rego ‘The boy who loved the sea and other stories’ exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery. I love her work and the combination of storytelling and printmaking with dark and complex situations and meanings resonate with me.

Pointers from previous tutor report and how these have been addressed

Pointers What I did
Continue to use your sketchbook and drawing as an integral part of your process. I did this, albeit in a more limited way because of the nature of the linocutting and printing process.

Now I’ve started working through ideas for PART 3, the free flowing expression of ideas and image making is back and can be evidenced as the last pieces of work in the A3 sketchbook.

Continue to develop your log as a more critical and reflective document.  I’ve made a conscious effort to be more critical and reflective and will continue to develop this in PART 3.
Think about your personal voice and what you are trying to say in your work and what you want to make work about. Thinking about and trying to understand where I am in developing and demonstrating my personal voice was a feature of this series of exercises. I had a bit of an epiphany moment following the last tutor feedback and I think I’m developing a good sense of what feels right. I think I’ve got a way to go in identifying clear themes or subjects to work with and explore.
Use the images in the course materials as reference only and develop your own personal voice and themes I hope I’m doing that, although ironically I chose graveyards as a subject and there is a church on a hill used in the course materials as an example of a multi-block print. This is coincidence; I’ve used the same subject matter a couple of times already over the past year.
Continue to explore printmaking in a variety of scales The linocuts produced in these exercises are of different sizes and formats, with the largest going up the 50cm x 70cm and combining linoprinting, monoprinting and liquid watercolour.

Personal reflections

This section contains my reflections on my experience of working through PART 2 Introducing relief printing – linocuts:

  • I learned a lot about the linocut and linoprint processes. I can see my technique and confidence build and develop with each new print.
  • I think of the work submitted here, it’s probably the initial test cuts, where I was freely experimenting without any constraints where I achieved the most interesting and engaging marks.
  • Having a good set of sharp tools directly affects the quality of the end result. For example, I treated myself to a 1½mm V chisel Japanese wood block tool. This immediately enabled me to achieve finer lines in the final multi-block project.
  • Achieving consistent quality across an edition of multi-block linoprints is hard.
  • The ‘Untitled’ poem print is being exhibited in the Museum of Futures Gallery in Surbiton, which in itself was and interesting experience.


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