Printmaking with Lino

As we are in the throws of #PrintOctober, I thought I’d show you how I made by latest print.  I’ve produced a lino print this week and so far I’ve reached the proof stage.  So here it is;


1. Find some inspiration – I have lots of found objects (as well as acquired ones) around my studio.


2.  Draw your design

I always draw real size so that it’s easy to transfer once I’m happy with it.


3.  Move your design to the lino block.

I have drawn directly onto the block before but mistakes get messy, so I like to work in the sketchbook first.  I use tracing paper and handwriting carbon paper to copy over the design.  Blue carbon paper isn’t very good at staying on the block if you use water based inks.  It’s fine for oil based.  So, before you use it, bear that in mind!  I would usually turn the tracing paper over before copying it onto the block so that the image is reversed ready for cutting.  However, with this block I’ve not as I didn’t think it would make much difference.


4.  Cut!

This is where you need to really concentrate!  Once you’ve cut you can’t go back so make sure you’re confident where you’re cutting.  This was quite detailed in places so I cut this over three sessions, even though its only A5 (150 x 210cm).  A little light refreshments help along the way!


5.  Once I’ve cut the whole template, I give it a quick brush over, very gently, to remove any unattached pieces of lino.  Otherwise they can get caught up in the ink and ruin your prints.


6.  Proofing – Ink up and print.  On this one I’ve used oil based inks by Gerstaeker and reduced the opacity with extender.  I printed 6 prints this afternoon so that I can check colours and paper differences.  It’s always good to have a little play around.  The other point of this is to check the design and see if you want to make any changes.  I can see a couple of things, but I won’t do anything straight away.  I’ll leave it a couple of days and come back to it.  That way I’m not rushing into doing anything I might regret once I’ve had more time to think.


The Proof.

Let me know what you think!


12 thoughts on “Printmaking with Lino

  1. Fantastic, Jean:) It has been well over 30 years since last cut lino and made prints. I’m trying to resist…have plenty of design/painting/drawing work to keep me busy for a long while but the #printoctober group is inspiring me;)

  2. Thank you! A lovely clear explanation of your processes. One day when I get some time I would love to have a play with Lino printing but until then I will continue to admire your work. Best wishes 🙂

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