Lino Printing

As a development on from potato stamping, I’ve decided to explore a more refined form of printing. I have little experience when it comes to lino printing, but it’s a skill I’ve wanted to develop since my first experience

Before diving straight into carving the lino, I quickly sketched out some ideas I wanted to develop. In reflection on previous drawings, I’ve decided to explore faces of fish more, specifically fish with large/sharp teeth. These are some of the sketches I created

Deciding to go ahead with my shark image, I created my first lino print. Creating this in a dye work shop, gave me access to specialist equipment and lino printing ink. In reflection of this attempt, I’ve carved my detail to much/thickly. Leaving large white patches in my print, I do like the simplicity of my design but this made the print too simple for my liking.


My second attempt was created at home, using a finer carving tool I could create a lot more detail through the head of the shark and create sharper more refined teeth. As I created these at home, I didn’t have access to a print roller or lino printing ink, I created this one using a wide paintbrush and acrylic paint. I used these to get an idea of the image I would create one I had access to the correct tools.


To experiment further with paints, I created these prints using gouache paint, as this is a water based substance the paint gathered up in little splodges on the lino, when printed it gave this bubble effect on the paper which I found interesting, I think this compliments the theme and atheistic I am aiming for.


After gaining confidence using the carving tool, I created a larger print using the side portrait of the fish for inspiration. Due to the bigger piece of lino, I could experiment with a variety of carving tools with bigger widths. Again, having to acrylic paint and paint brush to print this, I am excited to develop further and use the correct ink and rollers to create this print to reveal all the detail I carved into this piece.


To develop my lino prints, I will re-print these using the correct ink and tools onto paper and fabric to see how they responded and re-evaluate them from there. I want to combined previous stencil like drawing and lino printing together and see how each technique will complement each other.


Development: special techniques

I thoroughly enjoyed creating images using stencils during the special techniques session. I decided to experiment with more sea creatures. Creating this lobster design inspired from my Bristol aquarium visit, it was nice to create a more challenging stencil. Now I was more confident in making stencil, I am confident in adding curved lines and cut outs which were a lot closer together. Using the orange inspired colour from my colour palette, I painted over the stencil using gouache paints. I love the intriguing shapes I created in this stencil and I think it will look good when layered on top of other stencil designs.


I wanted to experiment with scale when creating stencils too. This was a lot more challenging than I first anticipated. Here I have created small squid inspired creatures to use when layering up.


As stencils gave me clean cut shapes most of the time, I wanted to experiment with a more unpredictable approach. To create more abstract and interesting shapes I have experimented with potato stamping. I do want to experiment using lino and mono printing at some point too, so this was a starting point. I am pleased with how these have turned out and it was a nice way to create layering which I am interested in. I think to refine this idea I need to consider mono printing more as clean cut lines is an important part throughout my hypothetical design commission brief.

As previously mentioned, clean cut illustrations are a big part of my brief, I have experimented previously creating these illustrations using pencil and black ink pen. I found this to be too flat looking for my liking. I did like the control but I was considering using something more interesting and unpredictable. I have experimented using a ruling pen. This is basically a paint brush that is used like a pen. It was very unpredictable at the start. It was hard to control the thickness of lines and drops of paint falling everywhere, but after practise I thought this tool was amazing. I loved the different thicknesses that could be created and the fluidity of the drawing was really good. This flowing feel to the illustration also emphasises my water theme very well.


In my previous special techniques blog, I experimented with adding illustrations on top of my stencils using black ink pen, as previously mentioned this looking flat to, I decided to experiment with the ruling pen on top of my stencils to create the lines illustrations. I loved this effect and I think the lines created with the ruling pen as edge and live to the piece. I am going to practise further with a ruling pen to gain more control when using it so I can create my intricate designs.


Illustrative Drawing.

Illustrative drawing is a big influence and aspect of my designs. Here I created several illustrative drawings using pencil and a black fine liner. These are all influence from my visit to Bristol aquarium.  I am pleased with the outcome of these, as it was a great practise experimenting with my line work. I have created illustrative patterns throughout the bodies of these creature. These are not realistic patterns. I feel this made-up line work suites the areas well and adds an interesting aspect to the design. Instead of the expected patterns you might find amongst these fish, I have created a contemporary alternative. I think this would help capture attention for longer as they line work is first what you expect to see.

I am very pleased with these drawing, although they do look a bit flat. I think they have been a great building block towards my designs but to move forward I want to add aspect of colour and shading to define the creatures further.  I also want to experiment with different medias in creating these illustrative pieces to add new elements and depths/widths to the line work.