January 1st, 2012

christmas on dartmoor, part 1

Stuart and I went to stay with the writer and illustrator Philip Reeve, his photographer and musician wife Sarah and their son Sam over Christmas. We ran about making so many different things that I'll have to put them into separate blog posts. But to start, here's a linoleum print I made of the Reeves on the moor. Dartmoor must been one of the most beautiful places in the world. And very windy! With BIG hailstones.

I played around with converting the print to colour, but I think I still like the black and white version best.

Several people have asked me how I do lino cut prints, so I thought I'd show the different stages. It started with a pencil sketch, and an ink drawing. It was just supposed to be a little drawn thank-you card, but I saw the ink drawing and thought it might look even better cut into linoleum, which comes in sheets that you can buy at art supply shops. It takes awhile to cut the lino (basically making a rubber stamp), so it's a perfect thing to do over the holidays.

Just as I was starting to trace the drawing onto the lino with carbon paper, I remembered that it's going to print backward. (I ALWAYS forget this, argh!) And I really wanted Philip striding off to the right, not the left, so I scanned the drawing, flipped it backward in Photoshop and printed it out to trace. I left my nice tools at the studio, but I had a box of cheapie cutting tools I bought once in Chinatown for a fiver, and they worked okay.

The fun part is rolling ink onto the lino block, that's when all the bits I haven't cut away show up black, and I can see better what I've done. But the ink looked worryingly blobby, and I realised I'd been storing it at all sorts of varying temperatures, and using it might be problematic.

Collapse )