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Draw, Carve, Print, Cry…. Repeat

Draw, Carve, Print, Cry…. Repeat

This is pretty much how my first few months as a print maker started.

I got a beginners lino cut kit for Christmas 2019, before the chaos of Covid and lockdowns. It took me a while before I made my first attempt. I didn’t know what to make, I had never made a print before. I longed for this kit for months prior to Christmas, but when it came to it…..artists block. So I parked it for a little while, and then in February (after I left my job) I gave it a bash.

I found a little cartoon dog on pintrest and thought…ah that be easy..right? NOOOOPE. I drew out the doggo, traced him over and drew him back on the standard grey linocut. This is the first big thing I learned while doing lino, battleship grey lino ain’t my friend. I could never get good sharp lines, found it hard to carve due to stiffness and it would buckle when you cleaned it. So when carving this lad it was hard work. Battleship grey lino is hard, cold and bits like to break off. Some artists love it, and I don’t.

After making the attempt at carving, with the tools that came with the box (I will definitely be making a whole post dedicated to tools ) I went to make the first proof. I used some paper I had lying around, inked up the plate ( again all with the ink and roller supplied in the box) and placed my paper down. I used the “spoon” method of pressing, using the kitchen wooden spoon, and pulled off the paper.

This is where plenty of my issues arrived from, the pressure of the spoon. After pulling off the paper I was not very impressed with my work. Artists are their worst critic, and I was not so keen. The ink was splotchy, it was inconsistent in color tone, there was areas inked up that shouldn’t been and over all, it wasn’t the best. Looking back now I should have been a bit easier on myself, but I knew the art of lino printing was not going to be an easy one to master.