Creating Linocut Prints
Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell
Discover how to create linocut artwork, then perfect this inside Photoshop with this free tutorial from Abi Daker
Essential Tools for Linocut
Step 1 – Draw out your design
Draw your design onto the lino. Remember that the image will print in reverse, so if it’s important that your design faces a certain way, you’ll need to work from a reversed source image. You can either flip your source image horizontally on the computer or draw your initial design on transparent tracing paper.
Step 2 – Cut it out
The areas of the lino you cut out will print as white, so bear this in mind before you start. Hold the cutter carefully and start by applying small strokes into the lino. Keep your cuts shallow at first. If you need to remove more, you can do so later, but a deep groove is difficult to fix.
Step 3 – Add texture
The areas you remove can become an interesting part of the design if you think carefully about the strokes you make when you are cutting. In this design, slight variations in the angles of the cuts add a subtle crosshatch effect.
Step 4 – Take an early test print
It’s a good idea to take test prints throughout the cutting process. It will help you to see how the design is progressing and to get an idea of how your mark making will translate into print. When you are working on your design digitally, test prints can be an interesting thing to play with.
Step 5 – Roll your ink
You should make sure your ink is rolled out evenly across the surface of the lino. Also make sure that you’ve applied the right quantity of ink, as this will determine a good print. Too much ink will make the image appear splodgy. Too little ink will look patchy.
Step 6 – Print, practise and experiment
Once you have the paper laid over the inked panel, make sure you press evenly all over so that your image transfers completely. The key with the print stage is to practise – get to know your materials and how the ink works with different kinds of paper.
Learn how to digitise your design with Part 2 of Abi’s tutorial, coming soon!