Lino cutting – one of my favourite things to do when I need some down time from painting ridiculously detailed things!
A quick how-to follows.
Start with drawing or photocopying your image – then trace your image…flip and transfer the tracing onto the lino so the image is reversed….
Your image is now ready to cut! Chose your tools – I would always recommend getting the best quality tools you can afford. Personally, I use Pfeil cutters. They still need regular sharpening, but they are strong and cut beautifully. A top tip before cutting lino is to warm the surface with a hairdryer or radiator – your tools will glide through the surface with ease….
Use a fine ‘V’ tool for the details to create short dots, dashes and fine lines. A larger gouge will clear the big areas. Remember to always cut away from your hand – fingers behind the tool please! Even the most experienced printmaker can slip…..and these tools are sharp!
The image is now ready to print…dust off the shavings and prepare a clean flat surface. Stick down a sheet of acetate or use a glass chopping board for rolling out your ink – my ink of preference is Caligo Safe Wash, an oil based but water washable ink which is dense and velvety. A thin layer is all that is required….the paper is then laid on top and held in place whilst the print is burnished (I’ll post a video of the process at a later date….) and voila! A print is pulled…..
The finished thing….once dry it can then be painted.