Tag Archives: lino print

Linocut landscape

This has been months in the making and I don’t know if it has been worth it. Last summer I caught a glimpse of a landscape as I drove through Wiltshire. A single bent tree on a horizon of ploughed fields, with sun lit masses of cloud either side. I must have seen it for less than two seconds, but I have been trying to recreate it ever since. Final layer of colour on it today, but I am unconvinced. I may tackle it again one day.

New sketchbook

My wife had made some albums using an open backed spine bookbinding technique that I liked. It allows the book to open absolutely flat. I’ve made a sketchbook on the same format, using a variety of Japanese papers that I had. I’m not sure how well they will work in a sketchbook, but only trying will tell. I’ve used two lino prints as cover papers. I’m pleased with the result, but yet to try it out.

Lino printing with a press 

I bought myself a small, manual press, which works surprisingly well. 

Basically, it is a lever press which about doubles your force. I use a bit of felt on top of the paper. I might try just turning it all over as the base is a dense foam. 

I’ve been working up another two colour print based on one of my favourite life sketches, my Neuroscientist. 

I took the easy approach. Photographed the drawing and traced it directly off the tablet screen at the block size. As a neat, simple outline, I think she looks good. 

Then another tracing, coloured up to show a white body on a black background. I thought the seat was far too prominent so had another go. Tracing paper is wonderful stuff. 

The balance between body and chair is better. As I did the body on one sheet of tracing and the coloured chair on another, it was easy to try out a black body on a white background. 

I went for this. It really emphasises the slanting composition. 

The block had to be carved in reverse, which tracing paper excels at. I used a proper transfer paper between the tracing and the block, which worked beautifully. Before I carved the body block, I decided to cut it down to square. This removes most of her face, which wasn’t working out well and would be hard to cut in lino. I think the balance works better as well. 

The first print from the press. Far better than I was getting by rubbing the back with a spoon. I really liked the look of this and wished I hadn’t bothered with the second colour. The line work has stayed clear. 

The whole printing area after I had pulled three prints. 

Second colour added, which looks good, although the registration is not great. I still think pure black would have been better. 

Mother and daughter, if that’s the appropriate expression. 

Two colour lino prints 

I’m enjoying the lino printing. One thing I find hard is that it is slow. You need to take more time than I naturally do. 

I thought my dancing nude would look better with no background at all, a la Eric Gill (an artist whose work is a problem to me. I think it is wonderful, but I find him abhorrent personally. Always a difficulty.) 

I think she does look much better this way. Good thing as there is no going back when you have carved the block. This is on a light, Italian printing paper. 

Then I thought I would try a second colour. 

I like this too, on thin Japanese paper. The burnt sienna is just rolled onto a cut out bit of soft cut lino and hand positioned. 

The problem is I will soon have a house full of prints. 

Lino printing tools

Carrying on with the lino printing. I have made a simple bench hook, Eric gives a very solid support for the printing block whilst you are carving it. Again, an idea from YouTube. I have used bench hooks for normal wood working for years, to hold wood still whilst you saw it. This works just as well, especially if the link is glued to a baking block. Just three bits of wood, a piece of plywood and some glue. You can buy one for £20…

Looking through some remaindered books in a local discount store, I found a book on “Anatomy for Plates Exercises” which is actually one of the best artists anatomy books I have found. Strange what you find. 


This is something new. I was giving a beginners lino printing kit for Christmas and finally dug it out. Brand new medium for me. I tried to copy a pen and ink book plate which u drew when I was at school I think. Don’t know how it survived. The outcome is poor, but you only learn by trying.