Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Ripped tide
lino print - watercolour ink

There must be something in the air, as lino prints are springing up everywhere. But why not? Its a lovely indoor winter activity and becomes easily addictive. I've just received a new supply of lino blocks and a set of carving tools as well as a sheaf of paper to print on. And today my book arrived from Amazon: The Printmaking Bible by Ann D'Arcy Hughes. A lot of the information is well over my head at the moment, but it does entice me to experiment with more types of printing besides relief.

Ripped tide II
lino print - watercolour ink & coloured pencil

The initial proof of ripples on water didn't take up as much ink as I wanted or I didn't rub it enough, so I decided to add some colour to it, inspired by Vivien Blackburn's exotic lino print. I used coloured pencil and will continue to experiment with more lino prints and colours.

I like the abstract feel of lino prints and adding colour gives another dimension entirely without the process of reduction or multiple blocks. Hand coloured...

I've seen some portraits done in lino and would really like to try that next. It may take a little planning to work it out, so stay tuned.


Robyn Sinclair said...

I do love the design of this one, Jeanette. Be careful, these things can take over your life ;)

Did you ever say what sort of lino you are using? If it is regular lino it does help the initial prints if you lightly sand it before carving. I love the way the blocks cure with the ink and just seem to get better and better over time.

I clean mine at home with turps and an old toothbrush after each print run. At the studio we have a box of sawdust so we can clean with a bit of turps and toothbrush and then rub it off in the sawdust. Saves wasting paper and does a wonderful cleaning job on all types of plates. Apparently you can also use discarded cooking oil but I haven't tried that yet.

I love the sound of your book. Off now to look it up, even though I've told myself NO MORE BOOKS!

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thanks Robyn. Yes, I can see how it could easily take over your life. I was having a conversation with T.O.O. this morning about how he could create a home made press for me. See what you've started? Yes, is all your fault and its wonderful. :)

The lino I initially had was firm rubbery blocks, very very easy to carve and thick enough that I could carve both sides of it. Speedball is the maker. The lino I just received seems harder and thinner, backed with sort of hessian weave stuff, not sure what it is. I haven't carved it yet, still deciding on a new design.

I'm using water based inks, not oil based, would that make a difference in the final printing? Those are great tips for cleaning and using the lino. I wondered about the ability of the surface even with the rubber ones, to have the ink adhere well.

And the cleaning tip is great too as I have lots and lots of sawdust.

Anita said...

These are gorgeous - very effective! I loved the way the first one looked in the blog feed on my blog. those swirly water designs really lend themselves to this kind of image.

Stacy said...

Beautiful Jeanette! Very wave like. Your artistic output so far this year has been amazing! Keep it up!

Reading your blog and Robyn's blog has me very tempted to try lino printing, but I will not allow myself to be distracted from my other goals. Honest...really...i mean it...

Jeanette Jobson said...

Water seems to work well and doesn't test my ability to decide what should be what in a print.

Laying a piece of lino and a cutter in front of Stacy. You sure you don't want a go?? :) Yes, I know, I'm wicked.

Mary said...

I know how addictive this can get, I only had my chance at a workshop years ago and now you are making me get restless about seeing if I have all the instruments. Very good work, Jeanette!

Anonymous said...

"The lino I initially had was firm rubbery blocks, very very easy to carve and thick enough that I could carve both sides of it. Speedball is the maker. The lino I just received seems harder and thinner, backed with sort of hessian weave stuff, not sure what it is."

That thin hard stuff on hessian IS lino. The rubbery stuff from Speedball isn't. It's, um....rubbery stuff! haha. Actually, it's a similar material to vinyl erasers...and now I dare you now to google "eraser carving" for a whole new addiction-in-waiting... You've been warned! hehe

Cate in Dundee
unreformed eraser carver and printer....

Jeanette Jobson said...

Oh, you'll have to try again Mary, its such fun! And with your abstracts they would be fantastic.

Cate, yeah I figured what I have now is the real deal. The other rubbery block seemed to good to be true in terms of carving ability. :)

Eraser carving??? People carve erasers??? Good lord...more addiction you say...hmmmm, perhaps better than drinking haha

Jo Castillo said...

Looks like you are having plenty of fun with this project. I will not get involved, really, no involvement..... no

Robyn Sinclair said...

I haven't tried the Speedball product. Was offered it in Florence but thought it rather expensive.

You now have real lino so I would recommend you sand it lightly before you start carving. I don't like the waterbased ink - it dries too quickly. Of course it could just be the brand I had. The oil based inks are wonderful and very reliable but you do have the clean up to consider. You seemed to get very good coverage with your ink on this print.

Yes, do take the opportunity to have your own press!!!!!!! Then it really will take over you life.

Robyn Sinclair said...

Just had another look at your print and see that you do have some light patches. This can certainly be overcome with the oil based ink.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Come on Jo, you know you want to really.... :)

Robyn, it is pricy compared to the real lino. Of course living on this little rock in the Atlantic, it was all I could get til mail order kicked in. :)

Your advice is so welcome and I'll make sure the block is sanded before I carve. I'll also see if I can find some oil based ink here too. I found that the waterbased does dry too quickly too. Its a bit frustrating, like painting with acrylics is for me as well.

Have you ever used regular oil paints for this or only ink based ones? I guess you get the intensity from the ink.

Well seems I'll be off to the art store again tomorrow...such a hardship. I shall be investigating options of making a homemade press. T.O.O. seems to think its pretty straightforward to make a simple one. I'll bet I'm going to have to cook lots of cakes and cookies to get that in front of me...

vivien said...

the first one I did was on this hessian backed one Jeanette - much harder and more wearing on the hands to carve. The second 2 were on the vinyl type stuff - SO much easier! I'd never used it before.

If it's oil based ink I clean up with cheapo vegetable oil as it's environmentally friendly - not pre-used though if that's what Robyn means :>D

This is lovely and the cp works well. I'll watch with interest as you experiment more - especially if you get a press - at which point I'll turn viridian with envy :>D

I've decided I actually prefer my own prints done non-traditionally simply brushing oil paint on and incorporating the brush marks and less perfect result, working into it. The finished result is more 'me' than the traditional graphic print.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thanks for the information Vivien, its all very useful to me. I have a mix of the hessian backed lino and the vinyl. I'll test a piece of the lino on the next project and see what its like.

I haven't found oil based inks here yet, so may have to mail order them in. Life on an island. Sigh.

Robyn Sinclair said...

I'm going to try Vivien's oil paint method. And yes I did mean used oil - we are in a recession, you know! ;)

I am told the lino is easier to cut if it is warmed up - a microwave would be handy, but I don't have one here. Maybe I'll try sitting it on a hot water bottle!

Gesa said...

I too loved the look of this in the feedreader. Hm, I hadn't thought of the sea in my own prints yet, but this looks terribly tempting;
I have both traditional lino (with the hessian on back) and the vinyl. Love the latter - it's very smooth and easily manipulated.
The inks I used are Caligo - oil-based but water-soluble and having used them for some time now, I am pretty happy with them: nice thick oil feel and generally easy to clean.