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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.