View Full Version : from a quick sketch to linocut

03-09-2005, 12:31 PM
hi everybody
I had a photo I took in Europe that I recently decided to do a quick sketch from (brings back memories of my days of waitering back in the 80's)
then decided to translate it to a linocut (a challenge for me...fine line cutting and people to boot...something I have not done too many depictions of)
The image size is 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
here is what I have so far, proof was pulled. In the photo attached it was by using graphic chemical black oil base ink on Masa rice paper...I tried speedball water-based ink on Mayfair coverstock...just didn't give me good results


03-09-2005, 01:34 PM
Nice job, Brian!! :clap:


03-09-2005, 03:35 PM
I like the print, a lot! You really captured the atmosphere of it all... I like it's 'simple complexity'...


03-09-2005, 07:31 PM
thanks Andrew and Cheryl
I think part of the challenge here was I wanted to do an exercise that would focus in on pos/neg. space, as well create a bit of interest with the addition of some play of texture. I started by tracing my final sketch onto the linoleum with carbon paper and then drew over the lines with fineliner waterproof marker. I didn't visualize the print image on paper with solid black background (just a line drawing). I thought that I would see how it looked first of all from the proof and make any additions or changes thereof.
I did decide however to omit some background elements that were found in the original photo, and direct the focus onto the main figure mainly.

I don't know if I had mentioned in a previous posting but I don't have an etching press or such. What I am working with is a photo dry-mount press (built up with plywood to increase the pressure when printing). I then immediately run the back of a wooden spoon over the backside of the print just to make sure the ink is evenly dispersed onto the paper.

by the way Andrew, the proof you posted for your Sandhill Crane print is excellent! (if I hadn't mentioned already). I think that image will do very well for you.

I am already inspired to begin work on yet another study....this one a landscape (cityscape to be more exact..a canal study of Amsterdam). Did the sketch this morning and then redrew it onto the linoleum.


03-09-2005, 10:23 PM
Great job Brian. I really like the textures you have in the shirt and the wicker. And leaving the background empty speaks volumes. This could be in Europe, Toronto or the cafe just down the street from me. But then again, with the aloof attitude of the waiter, I'm sure it is the local guy! A lot of imagry in a small piece without being crammed.


Diane Cutter
03-10-2005, 06:54 AM
Very nice, Brian... Like Doug said, nice textures to give the print a variety of elements to look at. You've played the positive/negative very nicely...

I could also see hand-coloring a few of these rather than the challenge of a second or third color plate.

By the way, how is your press working out? I think it's a great idea...


03-10-2005, 08:40 AM
thanks Diane
You are a good mind reader :wink2:
I actually have been giving some consideration to the addition of colour by hand.
The press seems to work good. However, I am encountering some minor problems with printing using it. I have noticed I get a fairly good impression when I press my plate into dampened printing paper (moreso than an image onto dry paper). I am using oil-base black printing ink. A problem I seemed to have encounter with the water-base I have used is that it bleeds into the white lines (perhaps there is too much ink on plate?), also the paper will start to glue itself to the plate after 2nd or 3rd print with the waterbased ink. (could be my printing studio is too warm?...as a furnace is closeby).
Back to printing with oil-base:
- I roll out the ink on glass until it gets nice and even on my rubber brayer (I am using a soft rubber brayer...does it matter what kind one uses for inking process?) Then I pass the brayer over the plate a few times to make sure enough ink is covering the whole image.
- If I use a heavier paper like stonehedge I immerse it into water and then blot it dry. (handles the pressure of the plate into paper well this way). If rice paper is used I found the wood spoon rubbing method is the way to go, as the pressure of the press pushes the plate into the thinner paper and it wrinkles the corners of the print. Perhaps the problem might be the interior is too built up with plywood to create the sandwich effect when pressure is applied, I will experiment with less pressure and see what happens.
- I carefully lift a corner of the paper after the block is pressed into the paper. If there is a bit of weakness in the ink contact somewhere then I will run my spoon over the image a few times coupled with some body weight to help correct it.
I am still figuring out the printing process and what works and what doesn't.
a few hit and misses so far, but I'm getting there.

love the anticipation of pulling that first proof...never know what to expect it seems



03-10-2005, 08:59 AM
Hey Brian :wave: You are new to me so Welcome. :) I really like this piece. Has a graphic feel to it. My very favorite part of the piece is the textural feel of the wicker. Nice rhythm also in the shirt wrinkles. Well done. :clap:

debbieryder :wave: :D :wave:

03-10-2005, 09:42 PM
A problem I seemed to have encounter with the water-base I have used is that it bleeds into the white lines (perhaps there is too much ink on plate?),

Brian, I was having a problem with bleeding of ink with Daniel Smith too. Then i STARTED USING ONLY VERY SLIGHTLY DAMP PAPER AND THE BLEEDING STOPPED. Oops sorry. Could your paper be too wet?

Oh I forgot to add, the other thing that seemed to make a difference was not thinning the inks - ie, using more viscous ink.

Love the prints tho.

03-12-2005, 12:56 PM
I really like this, Brian. You did a great job on the texture, and I think that you accomplised what you started out to do. If I had something to trade I would ask for one of these prints:D

03-19-2005, 02:11 PM
I like this - I like the atmosphere and the quiet vs busy areas - it works really well.

What is a brayer? (transatlantic language differences here - I don't think I've heard that term here, we must call it something else)

I would apply the ink to a lino block with a roller - is that a brayer to you? or is it some other tool?

Diane Cutter
03-19-2005, 02:22 PM
What is a brayer? (transatlantic language differences here - I don't think I've heard that term here, we must call it something else)

I would apply the ink to a lino block with a roller - is that a brayer to you? or is it some other tool?
Yes, a brayer is a roller for distributing ink...


Diane Cutter
03-19-2005, 02:23 PM
Yes, a brayer is a roller for distributing ink... I guess if you didn't know, you'd think it was a noisy donkey...


03-19-2005, 04:45 PM

thanks for the explanation

03-20-2005, 12:29 AM
thanks everyone for your input on this lino blockprint
I am personally content with the results, from your feedback it seems I have achieved some success with this one
There was one disappointment however. I did try applying hand-colouring to one of the prints....the result was less to my liking as the colour seemed to distract from the initial impact of the original black and white. However, the learning is in you don't know until you try.