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Topic: Lino prints are my bag baby [lots of pictures!]  (Read 3593 times)
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sheepBlue
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« on: September 25, 2015 01:32:35 PM »



I went to school for art, and ended up specializing in printmaking. Of all the styles and techniques I learned, I fell the hardest in love with block printing. It can be so graphic and bold which I find compelling. So over the years, since I graduated, I have dabbled with making prints out of my own home. I prefer to work with speedball brand speedy cut which is the pink stuff you've probably seen in the stores from time to time. Personally I think it is the best block type that is super easy to carve but won't crumble on you (there are other varieties of speedball lino blocks that will - beware!).

Anyway, onto the prints! I just finished a brand new one that I was planning on posting here, and then realized I never made a proper post for any of my earlier prints so here we go!

This first one is base of a photo of a cat that I found on the internet somewhere. I'm really happy with the texture I was able to achieve on the fur - texture is always an interesting challenge. Printing is rather simple as it is designed to only be printed in one color.



This next one was a bit of a challenge as I was trying to fit a lot of scene on a little card. It came out a little on the messy side, but I still like it.



Now this one, I decided to use a larger area to print, giving myself more room for detail. I am in love with this print, if I do say so myself. It is probably one of the few things I've made for myself that I have hung up. Who doesn't love an aquatic siren with a fish hat? This one was also a challenge I set for myself, as it was a three layer reductive print, meaning that I carved out the second layer (aqua - technically the white of the page acts as the first layer), printed, and then carved out the second layer (black) for the final detailed print. So now I still have the carved block, but I will never again be able to exactly recreate this print because I carved the aqua layer away.








And now I have finally finished the most recent goal I set for myself...a four layer print! The design I created ended up not being feasible for the reductive method because the colors I planned on using would mix up and get muddied if I layered them on top of each other. Because of this, I had to do....well crap I forget the term for it, but basically each layer of color had to be carved on completely separate blocks from each other. This can be very tricky for registration (good thing I don't mind offset registration too much) so you have to set up a system to make sure each block layers exactly in the same place as the others so the colors line up where they should.

Here's a picture showing my system. I made a simple printing "board" made from a cereal box. I cut two layers of a corner so I have the bottom layer to line up the blocks, and the upper layer to line up my paper so that each time I print, block and paper should be printing in the same spot. Easier said than done, but it helps a lot.

*Oh I must include a caveat - I didn't have enough of the pink speedycut on hand to do this block print with it - I had some leftover blue lino material I had from back in the days when I was in school. It's a bit more of a challenge to carve, and more so a challenge to print with because it can be rather plasticy and not want to flex and print fully onto the paper at times....but I will say, for being kind of a pain in the butt, I'm glad that it printed out fairly well with a little extra attention to applying pressure when printing, and the fact that I used most of that stuff up instead of letting it go to waste.





So with all that said and done, it still wasn't perfect. But hey, if it looked too perfect you'd know I didn't do it  Tongue Smiley And now I'm proud to present my Christmas cards for this year! (I am also proud of the fact that I actually got around to making them - usually I give up due to lack of inspiration, motivation, and/or time - go me!).



And of course progress pictures.

Layer 2 (layer 1 being the white of the card of course):



Layer 3:



And layer 4:



Not perfect by any stretch, but it screams handmade, and is unique and I love it.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015 01:39:00 PM by sheepBlue » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Abbeeroad
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015 01:58:46 PM »

Awesomely comprehensive post, sheep! I love all your prints.

Is that coal on your xmas card?!?! Love.

I'm inspired to do a (single layer) lino cut for my xmas cards this year.

You rock as always. Smiley
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sheepBlue
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015 02:07:00 PM »

Awesomely comprehensive post, sheep! I love all your prints.

Is that coal on your xmas card?!?! Love.

I'm inspired to do a (single layer) lino cut for my xmas cards this year.

You rock as always. Smiley

Thanks so much Abbee! Yes it is coal!  Cheesy I can never be happy with a simple pleasant card theme - it always has to be funny in some way.

I can't wait to see your cards Abbee! I love how easily it can be to create a dynamic bold card with even just one color print. I'm sure yours will be awesome  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015 05:04:34 PM »

Love it!!!!!!!

May I suggest that for an accompanying cookie, you make lumps of coal cookies like I did one year - I used a rolled spice cookie, with black gel paste dye, and rolled in black sugar - tip, if you do this, wear gloves!
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015 05:12:01 PM »

Love it!!!!!!!

May I suggest that for an accompanying cookie, you make lumps of coal cookies like I did one year - I used a rolled spice cookie, with black gel paste dye, and rolled in black sugar - tip, if you do this, wear gloves!

Hah, thanks so much Onyxnox! That is a great idea  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015 03:21:18 AM »

Turned out great and it is so good to see how you do it too.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015 03:26:58 PM »

So much wonderful in just one post! I did my first block print carving earlier this year and purchased enough of the pink stuff to do a couple more. I am super enthusiastic about  doing more, but haven't found just the thing to carve just yet. Maybe thinking of holiday cards will get me going again!
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015 03:37:47 PM »

these are brilliant! I have never tried the pink stuff that you mention, I have a ton of the old fashioned lino, tough to cut, but that means that the tools don't run away when cutting. But I might try and get hold of the stuff you mentioned.

Registration is the my next challenge. I want to just try with two layers, four is very impressive!!
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I would love a personal swap with you. Make me something for my wedding in june (pink and white) and I'll make yourself something lovely

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sheepBlue
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2015 04:26:14 PM »

Thank you for all the lovely comments!

edel - I give major props to you for working with the tough lino. That's the stuff we used when I was in school and it was a ROYAL PAIN to carve. We had special carving boards to prop the lino against so you didn't have to use your hands to try and stabilize it. I cannot tell you how many times I nicked or cut myself with the cutting blade doing this. One thing to know about the pink stuff though; it will stretch if you're apply pressure unevenly. You have to make sure to press flat with it, and then go back and burnish further if necessary. I was just thinking to myself if using a rolling pin would help, but it would stretch the image, and especially if you're trying to do registration, it will seriously screw that up. But best wishes! I bet you'll come up with an awesome 2-layer print!
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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2015 01:47:41 AM »

sheepblue I am used to it and so I am not sure how well I would get on with other stuff. I had some grey lino that I used for my recent corvids print and I actually don't much like the surface, it is too smooth and picks up the paint in a really odd way.

do you roughen the surface of your lino? I did try sandpaper, but tbh it didn't make much difference.
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I would love a personal swap with you. Make me something for my wedding in june (pink and white) and I'll make yourself something lovely

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