Springtime has me thinking of creative projects. An Easter themed lino print is just the ticket – mostly because bunnies and hares are great images to work with – but also it’s a fun way to make your own greeting cards or framed prints for your loved ones. Why not give it a go – when you get the hang of home printing a whole new world of crafty possibilities will open up to you! Here’s how I went about mine:
Transferring the illustration: First off I dug up a drawing I had done a while back featuring a hare bounding across a newly ploughed field. Pick a simple, black and white image with not too much fine detail. Then I mirrored the image by taping the drawing to a window, facing the glass so that the light coming through the paper enabled me to pencil over the lines on the opposite side. I rubbed the original drawing with a soft lead pencil. Placing the drawing over a piece of lino with the mirrored image facing up and the pencil-rubbed side down, I then traced over the lines again with a heavy hand, transferring the image onto the lino.
Carving the lino : this is the best bit- it’s very therapeutic! Using the various heads on my lino cutter I cut out the illustration. Please mind your fingers as the cutting tool heads are sharp. If you are using old fashioned lino block it’s may not be very pliable so heat it up on a radiator first to make it easier to carve. Bear in mind that everything that is cut away will not carry any ink and everything that is left will be printed.
Inking the block : Next up I squished some black water based lino ink onto a glass sheet and ran my roller through it several times before rolling a layer of ink onto my freshly cut lino.
Printing : I gently placed the paper (I used a quality textured tissue paper) on top of the lino and burnished it lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Yes, nothing fancy pants – a good ole fashioned wooden spoon. No printing press is required. Then peeling it off – tadaah! -print number one is finished and put aside to dry. You can print as many as you like but make sure that the ink doesn’t build up and smudge your masterpiece – wash the lino regularly with warm water and dry it thoroughly before starting over. You can print onto any paper and most fabrics but heavier paper works best with oil based inks and fabric will require a fabric paint. It pays to play around with different materials.
Lino block, lino cutting tools, water based ink and Japanese tissue paper are all available from art shops.
Enjoy your Easter weekend!