Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lino Cutting - Getting Started

I've spent some time trying to decide what to do for my first print. Here is a sketch of a giraffe that I did some time ago.

The giraffe was my first choice for the lino print. I couldn't decide on what colours to use for the giraffe print. So I changed my mind and decided to do the Manchester United crest. A quick search on Google images for Manchester united crest gives a nice selection of images to base my sketch on.

While the crest is a bit more complicated the colour choice is simple. After sketching out the crest on an A4 sheet of paper and I went over it with a fine permanent maker.

At this point I got some tracing paper and copied the crest. I didn't feel confident about sketching the crest on the lino, as it took me ages to get the crest looking right on paper. The idea behind the permanent marker outline was to make it easier to trace.

At this point I was ready to get started. I looked on-line for the lino cutting tools and for lino blocks. As expected the prices online are much better than my local arts and crafts shop... but I was lazy and decided I wanted them now so I purchased in my local shop.

I got an A4 lino block for €6.99 and a set of lino cutting tools for €4.99. I borrowed a roller and some printing paint from a friend. (They've never done lino printing before!)

So using the image on the tracing paper I set about getting a mirror of this image onto the lino block. I experimented with the tracing paper and the lino block but I found it difficult to see the pencil mark on the lino block. So I decided to cover the back of the tracing paper with white chalk, hoping it would show up better on the lino block. I taped the tracing paper to the lino block with masking tape.

I went around the outline of the crest with pencil. I only did the outline of the image as I figure there was no point in doing the detail at this point. (Looking back on it now I don't think there would have been a problem doing it all). Once I had completed the outline I removed the tracing paper.

At this point I realised that I had made a mistake with the chalk. It was more of a hindrance than a help. Once the chalk was wiped away I could see the outline of the crest so I went over it with a fine permanent marker.

My plan was to do the first print in yellow, then a second print in red and the final print in black. I warmed the lino block up slightly as I read that it is easier to work if it is warm. I started carving away the outside of the crest. This was a fairly slow process as I did not want to mess up the lino block. I did not have a lino cutting board (like the one used in the Lino Print - Tutorial ) so I had to be very careful cutting.

I continued cutting the lino board. There were a couple of parts especially around the edges that I need to cut a few times to get clear, clean edges. I think I may have some difficulty when I get into the detail of the crest due to the size of some of the cutting required.

And finally...

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