Preliminary drawing size A4. As can beseen below, nothing is traced. The sketchis reversed and redrawn on the lino.
Ink on a glass slab, blending colours
There are two lino blocks used. One of them is the Key Block (black) and the other is the Reduction Block used several times, cutting away more and more lino.A finished print is a combination of layers of ink and is in an edition of 50 prints. In this example case, there are four layersof ink comprising blended colours. The images below are from the linocut ‘Starlings and Poppies’ (Click to enlarge)
Stages in printing a linocut
Lino cutting tools
Design and drawing on lino. This is the KeyBlock and will be cut and printed in black. It is usually the block that is cut first, printed, and the print immediately put face down on the next blank block of lino. This offsets an image similar to the drawing above, and shows where thefinal black will print on top of the colours.
First printing. This is the colour Reduction Blockwhich has had the black block image offsetto create a ghost image of the final black on thecolour block. The first printing has to be done on the entire edition as this printing block will be cutagain and again.
Second printing. The colour block has beenfurther cut and the poppies cut out. The skyarea of the block has been completely cut off. An opaque green, shading to a brown has been printed.
Third printing. There is now very little left of thecolour block and all that is printed are some extradetails in shades of green. The white in these prints is the paper. Some artists use translucent inksbut all these are opaque.
Final printing of ‘Starlings and Hares’. The black Key Block brings the wholelinocut together and gives it some depth. This is possibly the most difficultblock to print as there is no room for error. Black is such a strong colourthat the slightest unwanted mark can be seen.