Using Lino print, you can create beautiful art and creative works such as fabric patterns. All you need is to understand the process and all the basic requirements. Besides, linocut print is created by carving a design into a Lino surface. Beginners find it hard to comprehend the process since sometimes it is complex and intricate.
The following article will provide a simple and comprehensive guide on making a linocut print.
What Is Linocut?
Linocut is an ancient printmaking method that has existed since the 20th century. Compared to woodcuts, linocuts are more versatile and the material used is easier to carve. To make a linocut print, you need a linoleum surface. Further, Soft sheets of Lino papers are also basic requirements in Linocut print. If you are considering creating your first linocut print, economyofbrighton.co.uk offers the best soft cut lino papers to help you make the best linocut design.
Materials You Need for Linocut Prints
To successfully make a good linocut, you need several materials, which include;
- Linoleum block
- Carving tools
- Printmaking paper
- X-acto knife or box cutter
- Washable relief inks
- Translucent tracing paper
- Sketching pencil
- Washable surface to roll ink onto
Step: 1 Sketch Design on Tracing Paper
Sketching your illustration is essential before you start carving. As a beginner, it would be good for you to start with simple patterns and shapes. Having designs with more details means you will have a lot to carve out. You can have several designs sketched on rough paper before drawing your final version on the tracing paper.
Step: 2 Transfer Design to Linoleum
Once you have finalized the design and are satisfied, you should transfer it to the linoleum block. To transfer your design, flip the tracing paper over, place it on the linoleum surface, and then keenly trace the design in the same spot on the other side. This method of transferring a design to a linoleum surface is efficient compared to drawing since you can easily erase the light pencil marks. In addition, the method is convenient when creating a complicated linocut design.
Step: 3 Etch Out Design
Design craving will require you to be keen and take good time on it. Take your time with this step if you want a perfect linocut. As a beginner, you can first practice using a by carving a blank piece of linoleum. Figure out how you want your linocut design to look. When curving, the more pressure you apply, the deeper the cut becomes. Therefore, it’s essential to be careful not to ruin your design. It’s also good to note that any part you carve out will not appear after stamping.
To be precise, in your carving, use a V-shaped. Start by making shallow cuts which will guide you in making the deeper cuts. Continue till you have curved out every area of your design. The carving tools are usually sharp, so you should be very careful.
Step: 4 Remove Excess Linoleum
After carving your design, remove any excess part of the linoleum. You can use a box cutter or X-acto. However, if you are using the entire linoleum surface, there will be no need to cut. Linoleum surfaces can be challenging to cut. Therefore, you should go back over your cuts several times or flip them and make perforations on the other side.
Step: 5 Prepare Relief Ink
Squeeze out the link and use a brayer to spread it into a flat and even layer. You can use a washable surface or a piece of plastic to squeeze your ink. When preparing your ink, it’s good to use the right amount. Too much ink will bleed on your curved areas, affecting your design, while too little ink will prevent accurate stamping. Once you are satisfied with the layer of ink, keenly roll the brayer onto the linoleum.
Step: 6 Apply Stamp to Paper
The last step of making your linocut will require you to stamp to the printmaking paper. This step will need you to be fast and keen. Once you apply ink to a linoleum surface, you should quickly apply it to the printmaking paper. If your design is small, you can press the linoleum onto the paper and then evenly press the baren until the ink is fully transferred. If your design is large, you should place the inked surface of the linoleum facing up and then apply the printmaking paper on top.
When stamping, you should avoid pushing the stamp around, as any movement can cause the link to smear and destroy your print paper. Designing and creating a perfect linocut may require you to make continuous practices and trials. So it would be best not to give up or be frustrated when you realize any mistake. However, you should be keen, especially when carving and stamping your design. In this last step, you should also take your time. Don’t be in a rush.
As a beginner, your first linocut design may have several mistakes and imperfections. You may realise excess links, fingerprints, smudges, or wrong carvings at the end of your design. But that should not be a reason to give up. It would be best if you tried again till you perfect the act. Some imperfections may be a blessing in disguise as they may turn out to beautify your linocut.