Saturday, 28 May 2016

First Linocuts

When I signed up to introduction to printmaking, I was most excited about linocut and totally baffled by monoprints. I love the graphic simplicity of artists like Edward Bawden and the early 20th century aesthetic they created with their prints. So, before I had got into the habit of starting a learning log, or a sketchbook I did quite a few test prints. I had a few different kinds of lino so it made sense to try them all.

The first was EZcut. I had a big block and basic speedball cutters. I tried to create as many different textures as possible.

I was really pleased with this, found the block easy to cut and print. However, I did find the block quite stretchy so if I was trying to cut a detailed design it might get distorted.

Next I decided to cut up the block and use it as a stamp to make these prints. When cutting the EZcut it was very stretchy and was hard to get clean edges. I discovered very quickly why the course material specify putting the paper on top of the ink, not stamping with the block, as the transfer of ink is not as good as I couldn't burnish the paper.

 Not deterred by this I cut another couple of small blocks to use as stamps in a more planned print. I took more time and got better transfer of ink and really enjoyed exploring overlapping colours and textures in this simple print.

I took my little flower and cut something a bit bigger next. This was also EZcut. I wanted to cut something more planned so I could see how accurately I could transfer my drawing to the block. The curved lines were harder, and creating lines that overlap was also hard as it required a lot of accuracy. This block is possibly too easy to cut, the cutter glides through and can be hard to control. Despite this my print was quite close to my drawing and I learnt a lot about the process.

 The following 2 blocks are a different kind of lino. The large one was a black rubber block, but it is much harder than the EZcut. I found this harder to cut and print with. The second is another soft rubber block similar to EZcut. I don't know the brand names of these as they are offcuts from school.

This last test block was battleship grey lino. I liked this the best as I was able to get the most accurate and detailed cuts and it made a clear even print. I used this kind of lino for all of the rest of assignment 2.

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