Generally I try to keep my drawings simple; this is my artistic interpretation and only a start to the creative process that will develop through my linocut. It is possible to prepare your drawing on tracing paper if you prefer, especially if it contains a lot of detail. The image is then copied onto the lino block in reverse – you must remember that the finished design will be printed as a mirror image. It is especially important to work in this way when you are printing letters or numbers otherwise on the final print they would appear the wrong way round!
1. Having cut away the area I want to remain white the block is inked with the lighter colours of red, yellow and beige. These are then printed. (I could have chosen to ink in grey initially but sometimes if you print this shade first you can lose the vibrancy of the subsequent lighter colours that you add! It is worth experimenting). This first print often looks nothing like the finished image!
2. The areas that I wish to remain red, yellow and beige are then cut away. The grey is printed for the floor of the boats and for parts of the tone on the water. The print is now starting to take form.
3. I then cut away the areas of the grey that I wish to retain. I next print mid-blue for the boats and water textures. I am building up using thin layers of ink to create the image, generally working from light to dark.
If the design allows, it is possible to print more than one colour at a time by using narrow rollers. This cuts down on printing and drying time. Once the prints are dry they are signed and numbered – in this instance, ‘Close of the Day’, 1/14. This means there are a total of fourteen prints in this edition, this one being the third in the series. Prints are then ‘window mounted’ or framed for exhibiting and selling.
Hence the finished lino print.
Janice Earley | Artist | Printmaker | Illustrator | Rookery Studio