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Robin Hoods Bay – The story behind the print

Updated: Feb 21

I’d like to share with you a new print that I’ve been working on. Below I've mapped out each stage of the process of creating the linocut design, so that you get a real feel of what’s involved.

Step 1: Planning the design

I mainly work from photographs, usually my own that I’ve taken whilst out walking or cycling. I find it easier to work in Adobe Illustrator to draw my design, as it’s a program I use all the time for my graphic design work. This way I can roughly colour up the design to see how the colour balance works and also visualise how I will split the colours down into different plates. The design needs to be reversed before transferring onto the lino, so it is out that way.

I’ve had a bit of a bee in my bonnet about creating seascapes, I’m more at home in the countryside, with trees and paths that lead your eye through the image. I was also finding that the straight horizon line of the sea in many photos I’d taken, was making the design look quite flat. I think I cracked it in the end!

Step 2: Test cuts

I often do a few quick test cuts and prints on sections of my designs to get a feel for the line width I want to create and which linocut tools to use to create that. I’ve also not done many buildings before and they’re quite a small scale, so I wanted to get them right. My prints are distilled down to simple silhouettes, rather than lots of detail, so it’s about striking a balance.

Step 3: Cutting plate 1

I transfer the design to my Lino with good old-fashioned carbon paper. I then pencil more detail in. I like to create much of the detailing as I’m cutting, rather than meticulously inking the design onto the lino.

I have a set of 6 Pfeil lino cutting tools and on this plate, I’ve used most of them. Some are v-cut and others u-cut, in different widths.