Printmaking studio class – Linoleum block printing #2

During January-February-March 2023 I took a printmaking class at Abington Art Center in Abington, PA. I have some experience of printmaking, primarily relief printing with linoleum, and we did some work of this type during the sessions. In addition, this class exposed me to several other methods of making prints. I’ll give you my experiences in a series of posts.

After doing the scribbles image… (and look here if you want to get a full explanation of my process of making a linoleum print)…

I was all set to do some more linoleum prints! I decided to try something small. I cut my 8″ x 10″ lino block into four pieces and then right away I knew I wanted to make some kind of portraits.

But not realistic portraits. Nope. Instead, I got out my sketch pad, closed my eyes and drew. I drew face after face in this manner, and then I picked out the four I liked the best, cleaning them up as needed so as to be a good candidate for printing. Here are my drawings.

I went through my process of transferring the image to the linoleum and carving the plates. Each one is about 5″ x 4″. I will say that in one case I forgot to flip the image, so one contrary person is doing the opposite of its drawn picture!

Then I took them to class and printed them. You may be wondering what paper I used. Well, I don’t know a thing about it. The studio had a collection of leftovers and discards and donations we could use. I looked through the drawer and found a lot of small pieces just right for this project.

Here they are:

I’m really happy with this group. They came up well and I think I have a good balance of black and white in each image. I would love to do more of these small sized portraits!

11 thoughts on “Printmaking studio class – Linoleum block printing #2

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    They turned out great! I could not guess, from the sketches, how you were going to strike the balance between black and white but you have done so really effectively here. Again, I really admire the fact that this is a different medium and technique yet these pieces are identifiably yours.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I feel that is the hardest thing to do in this kind of printing – getting that right balance. The tendency is to continue to cut, as you feel you need to make the whole thing busy – but open areas of black and white are necessary. That is something that can be refined forever, I think, striking that balance.

  2. Judi Castille

    Love these…they turned into strong characters. Haven’t done lino cut since a child and looking forward to trying again. Love the inky messy part!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I’ve done them off and on for some time, but this episode, I seemed to have a better feel for the carving and I know my drawing skills have improved, so I was very happy with the results. I like the process a lot from start to finish.

Comments are closed.