Cutting Feathers…

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….

image4-7 copyNext ink in the image – depending on your level of detail, use a waterproof fineliner or a standard marker pen….image5-6 copy

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….

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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.

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Caroline Rudge

I'm Caroline Rudge, an artist living and working in Wiltshire, UK. I specialise in the beautiful and ancient medium of Egg Tempera.

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