Friday, May 28, 2010

A three-colour linocut

Savannah with Tents, three-colour linocut, image size 8 x 12 inches.
(Click image to enlarge)

I cut three lino blocks for this image, blue, yellow and black. By printing the yellow over the blue I was able to get a fourth colour, green (and strictly speaking it's five colours if you count the white). The inking and printing are not of the best because I used water-based inks and printed it by hand. The water-based inks enabled me to do the print run over two days (not counting the cutting of the blocks). Oil-based ink would be smoother but it takes longer to dry and the clean-up is messy so I opted for water-based. Also, I printed it manually with a baren plus hand pressure which don't achieve anything like the pressure of a press. Under the circumstances I'm happy with it, especially that my simple little home-made registration method worked quite well. 

The main problem was the inking. I mixed the ink colours and they came out slightly different each time the block was re-inked. The consistency of the ink changes from minute to minute as well, but I'm getting a feel for what is about right. I'm pleased with this outcome, I have eight or nine presentable prints from two runs, and I have the blocks safely in a box where they will be one of the first to be printed if ever I get a small printing press which at present is not remotely likely. However, Google has helpfully been putting ads for printing presses in the margins of my emails, just in case. 

3 comments:

surayamam said...

Lovely.
The mix of yellow and blue works very well.
One thing I found worked for me before in the absence of a press was burnishing the back of the paper, i.e. rubbing it hard in circular motion, with the back of a spoon.

Eileen said...

Lovely print. I think it captures the sense of space in the Savannah very well. I'm so surprised to hear that you live in T&T: my sister has just come back from two years working there. I was lucky enough to visit a few times and found it a fascinating place: so complex and rich in both culture and natural resources. I will catch up with the rest of your blog over time and look forward to seeing some more of T&T.

Mary said...

Thanks Surayamam and Eileen. I missed your comments because of accidentally turning off email notifications many months ago.