Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that I like trying out new things. I was booked on a lino cutting workshop recently, which was unfortunately postponed at the last minute (due to adverse weather conditions). Undeterred, I took myself off out to the studio and dug out the starter lino cutting kit which I bought last autumn. I read the instructions ( a first for me!) and even watched couple of Youtube videos (again, not something I do that often - this one with James Green in Sheffield especially appealed to me). And then I just had a go. To start with, I made some different marks in the lino, using the cutting tools; some thin and some thick. This was on a very small piece of soft lino, about 5cm x 10cm.
I was quite happy with the results. I wasn't aiming for a particular pattern or shapes. I used one colour, then turned the lino round and added another layer using a different colour. It was fun to just play!
I then moved on to creating a picture. As is often the case, I didn't quite have the right tools for the job. I didn't have tracing paper, so made do with greaseproof paper from the kitchen drawer instead. Shame it was the brown stuff, as it made it hard to see through. I only had black printing ink (it came in the kit); I wanted to try out other colours, so had a go with some gouache (applied to the lino with a brush, so brush marks appeared in the print - might be a good effect, if that's what you're after). I also tried acrylic paint, applied with a roller (or brayer), which was the right sort of consistency, but too sticky for the paper I was using - the top layer of paper came away and stuck to the lino.
I carried on experimenting. Test prints were done on old magazine pages (see the first image) and subsequent ones on good quality printing paper with poor quality monoprints on the back (my own ones from a screenprinting workshop I attended a while ago). The plan is to do a series of prints of Aberdeen buildings - so far the Old Town House and King's College have made it into print. It's certainly a work in progress - quite a bit of refining is needed - I'll keep you posted!