Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Using my new camera to document pretty much anything (as you may notice). I've been working on a series of 3 book covers for my favourite subject at uni (the one which I did the small square book for). I chose to do travel novels (how surprising for myself... actually, if cookbooks were an option, it would have been a close call). Linocutting is a medium I loved back in high school and thought its rawness would suit this book genre well.

  • lino
  • cutting tools (sharp = good. so, so many bleeding fingers with this assignment)
  • block ink (I first tried using acrylic paint but it's just not the same)
  • roller
  • bamboo smoother
  • something to roll the ink out on (I used heavy card)
  • paper
To transfer a design from paper, colour over the lines using a dark pencil (I found progresso worked the best), then put the paper face down on the lino and secure with sticky tape. Press down really hard and trace over lines with a a pen lid or similar. OH AND FOR THE LOVE OF CHE make sure you check the spelling of the text BEFORE you start cutting. I had to re do this one because I'm a Photoshop purist and refused to edit in the 'A' I missed in Guevara.
Once design is transferred, start cutting! Putting the lino in the microwave for 20 or so seconds will soften it a bit although it can still be pretty tricky and I stabbed my hand several times whilst cutting. At school they always said to put your hands behind the direction you're cutting towards but I don't see how you can have control over the lino if you do that. Live life on the edge.
I realise I missed a few steps here, but once it's cut, roll out a blob of ink on some perspex/heavy cardboard (always rolling in one direction only, not back and forth) until it becomes quite 'tacky'. Roll paint onto the lino, place paper over the top and use the bamboo tool to smooth over the paper in circular motions & carefully peel the paper off. Repeat for different layers- I really like the look of misregistered prints.

Photos taken with a Canon 600D
Make a load of prints and hope one looks good! I'll post pictures of the finished covers soon.

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