23 Nov 2012

DIY: Linocutting! :)

Happy Friday Everyone,

I'm very new at linocutting but really enjoy it and thought I would share my recent adventure with tips if you've never tried it and would love to give it a go! 
Warning: I'm very new and self taught, so to all experts out there I'm sorry in advance! :)

To start linocutting you will need:
Ink (water based or oil based, can be bought online or at any arts store) 
Spoon/barren/burnishing tool to help you *massage* your print
Glass/or a special container for rolling ink (I couldn't find any for my budget so I use a glass from an old frame, bad health and safety)
lino blocks (soft in this case)
for more links of supplies go to the very bottom of the post

To start off you would need to know what you are planning to print (d'oh, but I usually get way too over excited and don't know what to draw!). I thought of a girl and two little bears and decided to go for couple of different layers. 
1. I drew a girl and outlined the picture with soft pencil so it would be easier to transfer the image onto the blocks. Some people draw it directly onto the linoleum but you have to remember that it will be like a mirror reflection, so I prefer to know exactly how my print will look and do this thing with transferring the original drawing onto linoleum blocks. By that time you have to decide which parts of the drawing you want to be printed and which you will be carving out.
2. Cut out all the parts you don't want to be printed and add a little bit of ink onto your glass and roll it around to make it even and nice, do not put too much ink and cover your roll perfectly.
3. When your lino block is covered in paint, lay your paper on top of it and using burnishing tool or spoon massage it gently. I cover my lino block with paint after each print (it worked for me, not sure what's the right way). 
Do some test prints! I secured my lino block onto cardboard (I don't think I would be doing that if I had A6 block and A6 paper but as I was printing onto A5 I wanted it aligned!), mark the cardboard as where your paper should go and your next print would come out as the previous one. I think it's even more important if one is planning to do couple of layers in different colours. Again, it's very personal so try and see what works for you! :)
4. Let id dry! ^_^
5. While first layer dries you have time to carve your second layer.
6. Repeat the process as in 3! 
7. I wanted to add little stars and blush to my girl, so I carved tiny stamps and secured them onto marker pens.
8. Stamped my heart away! Lots of little stars and pink cheeks. :) 

Meet my girl with two tiny polar bears! :)
I enjoyed it and will be linocutting again very very soon!
It's great fun, tools and materials are rather cheap and easily accessible and knowing the basics and with help of some online tutorials it can be learned from home. :)

Some more links:
**Linocut boy is selling linocutting starter kit on etsy! All components are carefully selected to get you happy printing! Don't forget to check his amazing blog and linocut prints at his etsy shop!
**I bought all my supplies from Jacksons Art shop and they have great selection of lino tools, blocks and inks. I'm happy with the tools and inks I use, will be trying more as I go along. :)

Carving Tool 3 in 1
lino blocks (soft in this case)

Water based inks (Basic from Jacksons Art around £5 for quite a big jar) 
And if you enjoyed meeting girl and polar bears, you are welcome to adopt her from my etsy shop. :) 

Thank you for joining me on this little linocutting adventure. Hope you enjoyed it!
Do you linocut? :) 

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