Making a Linocut Print
The first time I made a linocut, I carved all of my drawn lines off the plate, resulting in a dark background (I used black ink) and a white-line print. It wasn’t awful, but it also wasn’t the linocut print I had in mind. I carved the next block with the opposite approach; I removed all block material with my gouges and knives, except for the drawn lines. That resulted in a repeatable print that looked more akin to the drawing I’d rendered on the block. Like any new art-making form, it takes a few tries to get a feel for the medium, and to nudge it towards the results you’re looking for.
All the Things
Over the years, I’ve been amazed at the breadth and depth of printmaking approaches, materials, tricks and tips from fellow printmakers, just in the relief print category. That doesn’t take into account all the options we have for intaglio, monotype, collagraph, drypoint, etc. The world of printmaking is remarkably rich and varied, so you could spend years just getting your head around the basics.
Are you Ready to make a Linocut?
In 1926, a year after Sargent’s death, Adrian Stokes, who had accompanied the artist to the Alps, described what had inspired his late friend to paint particular watercolor:
Sargent’s watercolors… usually record, with the utmost directness, something that had excited his admiration, or appealed to his artistic intelligence. That may have been the clearly defined and exquisite edge of some rare object; of the way in which a dark thing, when opposed to vivid light, is invaded by it, and loses local color; or the change that seems to occur in the color of things along the edge where they meet.
~The Watercolors of John Singer Sargent, by Carl Little 1998