Updated: May 21, 2020
In this blog I'll show you how I created my new Lealholm linocut print. The design is a 5 colour print made using the multi-block printing technique.
Step 1 | Inspiration
The inspiration for this design comes from two days cycling in the Esk Valley, North York Moors.
With a road map in my back pocket I set off from the Yorkshire Cycle Hub to explore the Esk Valley. I’d no particular plan. With long daylight hours, I had all afternoon and evening. Lots of inspiration for new linocut prints!
Read more in my Two days cycling in the Esk Valley, North York Moors blog.
Step 2 | Sketching design concepts
I had sketched the design roughly on my Ipad. Printed it off and used watercolours to plan the colours of the design. I then transferred the design onto the 1st lino block.
Step 3 | Carving lino block 1
Carving the main elements of the design that will give me a structure to work to.
In the process of test printing I decided to remove the grass verge that is in the foreground. You will notice that on the final prints at the end of this blog.
Step 4 | Transferring the design to lino blocks 2 and 3
Transferring the design from block 1 onto 2 more lino blocks.
I use watercolor to indicate the area of each block which will be left in relief. It also helps me see the areas I've carved away more easily. The crosses and non coloured areas show the areas to be carved away.
Step 5 | Carving lino block 2
Carving the heather, foxgloves, house and road. I will ink this block up with 2 different colours.
Step 6 | Carving lino block 3
Carving the areas for the mid green. This includes the detail on the foreground ferns.
Step 7 | All lino blocks carved and ready for printing
Often the design will evolve as I do my test prints to see what work. In this design I decided to create a 4th lino block for the sky, so that I could include cloud details.
Step 8 | Test printing and mixing colours
In this blog I have missed out the test printing stage. This is where I test out the design to see if it works.
The purpose of test printing is:
To see if the lino blocks line up, we call this registration and make adjustments if necessary.
To adjust elements in the design that I want to change
To experiment and play with colour.
Often this can mean spending as much time adjusting the block as I did carving it the first time. It can be a whole day's work.
Step 9 | Printing colour 1
Inking up the block with pale grey.
Step 10 | Printing colour 2
Inking up the block with mid green.
Step 11 | Printing colour 3
Inking up the block with heather purple.
Step 12 | Printing colour 4
Inking up the block with dark green.
For each colour I roll several layers of ink onto my lino block. I then place the block in my etching press. Put paper onto. Wind the handle and lift of the paper.
I repeat this for each colour and each print. This video show the dark green being printed.
Step 13 | Printing colour 5
Inking up the block with pale blue.
Step 14 |The final print
I print small amounts of the print edition to begin with. Usually between 10 and 20. I often reject 30 to 50% the first time I print a design for printing mistakes and imperfections.
Limited edition linocut print. Edition of 60
Image size 160 x 160mm Mount aperture 190 x 190mm
Mount outer 305 x 305mm
Frame size (outer edge) 340 x 340mm
Mounted £90 Framed £120