Tag Archives: linoprint

New printing class

I’ve started a relief printing class at the Gloucestershire Printmakers Cooperative in Thrupp, lead by Beth Jenkins. Got my hands on an Albion press for the first time. Very easy to use, because someone had already set it up. I was surprised by how little effort it took. I suspect the set up is anything but effortless. Produced a little, single block, multi colour print using a stencil and a new, too me, registration set up. A nice little print of a diving gannet, but I shan’t use it in my Poole birds series. It’s the wrong size.


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Shelduck 4

Printing on the third layer. This should be the colour of the chestnut band around the bird’s chest. Below are the basic tools of the trade.

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The paper located on the Boswell device. The baren, which is the black disk you rub the back of the print with to transfer the ink from the block. A sheet of glass with the ink rolled out “just so” and the roller, which I think printers call the braer for some reason. This is my new soft roller, bought on Laura Boswell’s advice,and she was right, it really makes a difference.

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Paper in place, about to be lowered onto the inked block. Some of the block had been cut away since the previous yellow printing, so they should stay yellow. The rest of the yellow should be covered by the burnt sienna.

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The print lifted after buffing the back with the baren. Next layer will be the red beak, but I really need to leave this to dry fully before doing any more.

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Shelduck 3

Second colour now printed. This should largely be hidden on the final print, but just show through in some places and just round the edges of certain parts like the beak.

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I’ve carved out the body on the second block and am beginning to sketch in the background. Not at all sure how this will develop. On the first block, on the left, you can begin to see how more and more is being cut away. In the end it will only have those areas which are to be black left.

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Shelduck print 1

I’ve decided to start with a print of a shelduck. They are beautiful, but fairly simple in shape. One duck with a twisted neck, based on my Internet sketches.

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First a quick sketch of the duck against reeds. Then a slightly more careful sketch on a piece of scrap paper with a rectangle the size of the lino block on it. This was traced off on tracing paper so it could be reversed and transferred to the lino.

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I’m going to make two blocks, the first one shown here which will just be the duck. I’ve carved it’s outline carefully and then will remove all the lino from around it. If I use just one block, I think there may be too many layers of ink, and I was having trouble getting my mind around it all.

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This basic outline of the bird was transferred to a second lino block by printing it onto a piece of teaching paper, and then printing this wet image onto the second piece of lino. All held in place with the Boswell device, so it should line up… The black area of this second image needs to be removed completely, and what is left them used to print the background, reeds, water etc. Long way to go yet. I have 8 sheets or Zirkal paper, so there will be 8 prints maximum, if I don’t spoil any.

Four colour lino block 

As an experiment (I am very new to this medium) I have tried to print my girl on the dockside in four colours. I have also tried using acrylic paint mixed with a print medium as ink. Not that great really. I think proper ink is probably better. 


First, I cut a new block which simply had the figure cut out completely, so I could print colour where the water and dock were. I printed in two ways. On the right, I printed yellow acrylic over the whole block. When dry, I covered the dock area and inked the water only in blue acrylic and printed it over the yellow. Very dark, greenish outcome as the acrylic is very transparent. On the left, I have printed yellow ochre ink just over the dock, and then the blue acrylic over white paper at the top. 


Then I inked up the body /shadow block with two colours of ink. You have to resist the urge to roll from side to side, which would spoil the effect. 


Adding the body looks quite good on both, but the dark water doesn’t give the feel of a hot sunny day that I want. 


Finally the line block added. I like the results, but not sure it’s an improvement over the original simpler two colour block. That really looked hot.