Getting the Lino Started

Now that I’m back from Korea I really want to hit the ground running. I want to do more drawing and gather some more inspiration however I didn’t want to put off the making any longer. Yesterday I decided to cut a block based on one of my initial sketches of the Hong Kong Sky line. It was a simple block but it took a couple of hours to carve.

IMG_5576.jpg I wasn’t sure how the block would print however it came out quite well. I found that this particular Lino is a flimsy so it moved as I was printing. If I want a crisp print I will either have to use a thicker Lino or not completely cut away around the design. This would allow for more support when inking up and printing.

Over the summer I became particularly interested in Lino printing. I was doing some research into the best way to Lino and Block print. I found that thin layers of ink repeatably rolled over the block would allow for an even distribution of colour. Also I found rolling inks together was a good way of mixing and less wasteful then a palette knife. It minimised the amount of ink required to achieve the right colour. I also found the applying even pressure over the block (from another object) would prevent the block from moving when printing however I used a roller and this worked well on this small design.

I started with these initial prints just to see how they turned out. I was pleasantly surprised. I really like the taller building in the back, Im glad I decided to cut out the outline rather than the whole building. I think when designing a block its important to consider the negative spaces as well as outlines. I feel that the more blocks I cut the more I will find it easier to get the balance to work.

Due to this block being a start off/experiment I didn’t really think about the layout and format of the design. After printing it I like the idea of it being a repeat if it was wider, the end buildings would have to easily link together. Also if it was to be a placement print the design would have to have a finished edge on each side. I don’t like the bottom of the print, I fee that the block is too harsh. I prefer it much more when it fades out, this would be created in the inking up process.

These are the prints on a few different backgrounds. The 3 to the left are watercoloured backgrounds created with “wet on wet” and sponges. I feel that the top left shows the contrasting colours in the palette working in harmony in the print. I feel that the bottom left has too much texture in the background and takes away from the print. The middle is a clear print and effective however it needs more colour. The right one is on brown paper and I personally like the effect however I don’t feel like it goes with my colour palette and doesn’t work with my target market and luxury feel I am designing for.

I also decided to quickly print some on fabric. I painted a small amount of dye on the surface to recreate a watercolour effect and then printed on top. I now realise the need for a lot more ink when printing on fabric otherwise the print is faded. I feel that the outcomes could be stronger but I like the direction they’re going in.

On the next block I would like to think more about the design (repeat or placement) and layer a few blocks together so it can be multi-colour print.

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