Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Playing with Printing

Lino Print Bird

I've been having a bit of a play around with making some prints this week. I was given a small bit of lino to test so, obviously, I did a small bird. The lino was the easy cut stuff which is meant to be easier to cut (clue is in the name) although I'm not convinced it is. The downside to it is that you can't draw on it in pencil, so you need to be fairly confident about what you're doing and unlike 'normal' lino it doesn't have a hessian backing so is quite flexible, which is OK until you start working into it a lot. Because of this I kept it quite simple, not gouging too much out as I didn't want to go right through it.

Having made my lino cut I made a few prints on different types of paper, just using black acrylic paint as I didn't have any printing ink. I was quite pleased with how the prints turned out, I think they're quite charming in a naive sort of way. I wanted to keep the prints together but I didn't really want to do a big design sheet so after experimenting with a few ideas I mounted them all on sheets of dark blue textured paper and sewed them together to make a little book, I think this finishes them off nicely and makes them feel a bit more special than just a group of individual prints.

Book of prints and lino cut

One of the prints on an old envelope

Second print, using up ink from the previous print

I also had a go at making a really simple printing plate by using a ball point pen to draw on a piece of cardboard. This plate obviously breaks down quite quickly but I got a few prints from it and today I stitched into one of them. The stitching just finishes it off and takes it from being a simple print to a piece of work. I've been working as a support worker for Prism Arts recently, supporting a series of printing workshops which is what inspired me to start playing around and I can see it's something I could really improve and develop as part of my work. Also, it's really fun!

Cardboard plate and prints

Print embellished with stitch

Detail of stitching

In preparation for the first of my life drawing sessions on Thursday I've been trying to do a bit of drawing every day. Yesterday I had my Eden Mencap Society art group in Penrith and I wanted to do wax resist with them so I did this blackbird drawing as an example, killing two birds with one stone as it were. We were given a load of black paint over summer so for the past few sessions we've been doing a lot of monochromatic work, they've produced some lovely work which you will soon be able to see over on my website (

Wax and paint drawing

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