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. 


surayamam said...

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.