Friday, 22 May 2009

Linoprint Tutorial

And so we begin our Linoprint tutorial!
I have tried to illustrate each of the stages of printmaking with a photograph but if my instructions are not clear please feel free to contact me  : )
For this print i have used Linoleum substitute, it is a rubber substance which is very soft to cut and quite widely available, ( i think)
Firstly, cut it to size, ensuring that you retain or create a right angle at one of the corners.

Then transfer the image onto the lino, either by drawing it free hand or transferring it from my sketch directly to the lino using carbon paper. ( in this instance i drew it freehand).

It is important to remember that the image you create will be reversed when you print. This is particularly important if you are including  any type in your print, you will need to draw and cut it backwards.

Then using a series of lino cutting tools i carve into the linoleum.

 The important thing to remember at this stage is that where ever you cut/mark with the tools will remain white, so it is the opposite of drawing with a pencil.  Since when you draw with a pencil it is the marks you make which create the image  but with lino printing it is what you leave behind that make the image.  

Lino cutting tools come in two styles, a V tool and a gauge tool. As the name suggests the V tool makes V shaped marks and the gauge tool, U shaped marks. They come in a variety of sizes from tiny, little narrow to wide open tools and different patterns and textures can be achieved using a variety of tools

All that remains of the lino is that which will be inked up. 

It is not necessary but, at this stage i recommend a cup of tea : )

Using, linseed oil based, ink and a roller ink is then applied to the relief surface of the linoleum. 

At this point it is all to easy to "over ink" the lino.  This means that you have too much ink on the roller and you will flood the smallest of the  channels which have been carved into the surface, thus losing the details in the image. Although practice and experience is the simple way to combat this rookie mistake, my printmaking lecturer used to always say that when inking up your roller it should make a "hisp sound, like an egg frying in a pan"  when you roll it in the ink.

This the stage at which all your hard ,( but thoroughly enjoyable !) work  pays off. 

The lino must now come into contact with paper to create a print. 

Here is where you will use you registration board, tuck the paper into the top corner of the 2 L shapes  and secure with masking tape to make hinges, so that you can then "open" the paper back as though it were a book.

Tuck the inked Lino into the bottom corner.

Close the paper onto the lino and apply pressure to transfer the ink from the lino to the paper.

This can be done using a printing press or it can be hand burnished. 

Burnishing a print is a simple and affordable method of transferring ink to paper. You can do this in your own home, without a printing press. You can purchase burnishing tools for not to much but you can also pick up an old spoon in a charity shop for a few pennies. As you can see from the photos i am using an old spoon.

When you peel back the paper you will see the image transfered on to the paper. Repeat this as many times as you want copies of the print. After each colour is added to each print you need to then "strip back", no removal of clothes is necessary i promise. You simply use a sheet of paper, cheap paper like newsprint is ideal, and you place it on to the print and gently rub. This way you remove any excess ink which improves the aesthetic of the print and speeds up the drying process.

Clean the lino of any remaining ink and go back to cutting, Remember that every thing you now cut will remain the colour you have just printed.

An oil based ink will take at least 4 hours to dry, this will alter depending on the paper you use, but i advise over night to let it dry completely. Mix your next colour and repeat this process. Using your registration board will mean that every layer of colour lies exactly on top of each other.
Continue to print and then cut away depending on how many colours you want, this is a three colour print. In general, work from light to dark colours, so lightest colour first.
Phew this might be the longest blog entry i've ever made, i hope you can follow this but if i am not being clear enough at any stage please email me and i'll try to help ; )

The 2 previous post might also be of help.


RHIANNON said...

I loved the demonstration and this will certainly help me in the future with my printing
Can I ak with lino do you sand the surface of your block first?

Rosebud Collection said...

Wow, that is neat..I have to reread this..I am a slow learner.
You did a wonderful job explaining.
Thank you.

littlebird said...

RHIANNON - no, you want the surface of the lino to be as smooth as possible. This helps transfer the ink from the lino to the paper : )

Felt~at~home said...

absolutely fabulous.....only now I need to invest in some tools to play! I LOVE the anchovies - you're so clever. I think I need to do a tutorial on making felt people.
You're brilliant! & I love the 'cup of tea' bit! I was really laughing!

liz davison said...

lovely photos and awesome print! thanks for sharing this !

ArtMind said...

What a great tutorial. I love it!
I also love the colors & this certainly learnt me more about lino printing. Next time I'll use my lino printing set for the proper use intstead of for my claywork! ;)
Thanks heaps for sharing and letting me know that you posted this, I really appreciate it! I'm bookmarking this! :) Happy weekend!

CoveredInCrafts said...

Best tutorial I have seen! Thank you!