Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Its time to create another lino print and this may be it.  I have played around with an image of a crow and tree, breaking it down to its simplest components, yet still have it recognizable.  I was inspired by one of Amie Roman's prints of a crow and thought I'd try my hand at  producing something along the same lines.

With a piece of soft-kut I will try carving this.  Regular 'battleship grey' lino even when heated seems to cause problems with my forefinger so the soft kut should be easier to carve with less pressure on my hand.

Oh the joys of getting older...


Gesa Helms said...

yeah... some more linocuts! it's very different to my painting work, but the starkness of traditional relief prints are very appealing. the composition of this is interesting with the bird right in the middle of it. it's intriguing... initially i was going to point it out as: do you really want to do it like this... lol... but it provides for an good draw into the piece.

that is such as shame that the brittle trad lino is becoming difficult to carve. i haven't done any lino piece for a few months, but for the final series of the assignments i'll be going back to them and the brittleness can produce some fantastic effects. do you use linucutters or the more solid woodcarving tools? i'm just using the latter - they are more sturdy and designed to carve harder wood... if you haven't tried them, that may be worth a shot. saying that: the smoothness of soft cut blocks produces some very good effects too.

thanks very much for the coffeeshop comment :)

Jeanette said...

Thanks for the input Gesa. And you're right, the central bird isn't the way to go. In the final piece I will be rearranging things and putting it off centre as well as changing some of the branches around.

I'll have to get some wood carving tools, they may indeed be the better way to go with the harder lino. I can do the lino, but in short time frames or it just kills my hand.

Thanks for the suggestions, great as always.

sue said...

Oooooh-love this, Jeanette. That's going to be wonderful. Can't wait to see it. The branches are so delicate--almost lacy, and the crow is such a beautiful sillhouette.

Amie Roman said...

Looking forward to it, Jeanette! Naturally, I'm a huge fan of crows and the graphic aspect of printmaking. Glad to be of inspiration!!

I'll let you in on a secret: I carved away what I wanted to black in my image, and printed onto black paper with opaque (read: add titanium white) inks. That way, I was able to achieve the gorgeous delicate linework of the branches without agonizing about carving around them. It's a little backwards to our "traditional" thinking with linocut. You might want to give it a try :)

Gary said...

I think this image will make for a fantastic lino cut.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Sue. I'll play around with it and see what happens.

Amie, thanks so much for the tip. That would definitely make my carving simpler. I'll have to do a test run on this. I love crows too much have never really drawn any - not sure why.

Thanks Gary, I hope so.

Laurel Neustadter said...

Very beautiful. I like the diagonals in the design. Look forward to seeing the prints.

Anonymous said...

The design of the tool you use is often a factor in hand fatigue, I've found. And after years of trying all sorts of cutters, I've just discovered the absolute BEST tool for lino/soft-block carving: Flexcut palm tools. They come in all sizes from micro to maxi and in a wide variety of profiles, but the way they sit in the hand is incredible. They take all the effort out of carving. Source a Canadian supplier here, or try LeeValley:


Another thing to check is the freshness of the lino you're using: as it ages it dries out and no amount of heating helps. I used soft-block almost exclusively when I lived in Newfoundland because good lino was so har to come by, but I've recently found a source of fresh lino from a local print studio and I've fallen in love with lino all over again---it's firm yet buttery, and nothing can match it for detail.

Cate in Dundee