With Christmas around the corner I decided to send some cards out to a few friends. This was the perfect opportunity to try out some linocutting! I have documented my steps here in case anybody would like to know how they are made. I don’t have a printing press at home so I had to improvise here and there. The great thing is that you don’t need a lot of space and the materials can be found at your local art shop.
Firstly I sketched out the design and then redrew it on the lino with a pencil.
Using your lino carving tools, carve out the design. This is where you can really get that woodcut feeling. You can use the different cutting shapes and sizes to get different effects. Also bear in mind in which direction you are cutting. That can create different areas on your design. I used a large round tool for the ground and cut out more in the air behind the deer.
This is what my lino looked like after cutting. Some areas are cut deeper than others for different effects.
So time to ink! Get an old mirror and put some lino printing ink on there. Use your hard printing roller to even the ink out on the mirror. This allows the ink to evenly spread on your roller. Roll the ink onto your lino. This is a great time to see if you need to take out some more bits of the lino. Make sure the ink is applied evenly all over the design.
I don’t have access to a printing press so I had to come up with my own tricks. When your lino is inked lay it down and add the paper on top of the lino. Be careful not to move the paper. Using a wooden spoon, rub the paper on the lino so that the paper is as flat as possible. Don’t be afraid to apply some pressure!
Voila! This won’t give you exactly the same quality as with a press but it is close enough! The cool thing is that you can now make as many prints as you need!