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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 questions about Linocut reduction variations, printmaking in Spain

ahhhh, you are thinking, here she goes again, banging on about blooming reduction printing.... yes, I say...because it is so FUN.... yesterday, I went back to the studio for the first time in weeks, and that is always tricky, your head is full of ideas, your hands are all fumbly.... too many ideas, is as hard work, as too few, I always think....
I started out with a small reduction print, to limber up a bit, and "discovered" some things I had forgotten....
within a reduction print it is possible to make a whole range of variations.
1) Why would you want to do variations? If, for example you are printing for the fun of it, it's more fun to bring home a bunch of prints not all the same, you can frame the variations and hang them together as a group and it looks fantastic!
2) How do I know when to print the variations? I tend to cut my papers... ok, just for the sake of it, let's say we have 10 papers, I print the first colour on the 8 pieces of paper, do my cutting for the second color, and print that on the 2 pieces of paper that are empty, and then print the 8 pieces as normal.
3) What happens if I change colours mid way? You should!! Not all prints are suitable for this, but you will soon find out, after you printed the first paper, if it looks ok, I often vary colours down the line. This is a great way to learn....
4) What do I do if I have cut too much of the lino away? A chapter on it's own.... when I give courses, I keep a supply of newsprint on hand to be able to proof the lino plate as often as you wish.... you should not be afraid to cut away, but it should be done with thought. It is very easy to get "lost" when you are cutting, almost gripped by a little mania, and just carry on cutting!!
Some part of a linoplate can be replaced with care and fiddling, it is not so difficult if you have clear areas on the plate, like for example, take away the roof of the house and replace it with another.... but trickier if you cut away too much in an eye... careful with the cutting... take it slow...
and 5) When am I finished with a lino reduction? Many times, long after you thought you were!
Why not... after you are done, with the edition, try to cut away more, and more and more and more..... I have in this way sometimes "found" a great print, in a plate I thought was done... or I have found the last plate to a lino with a monotype underneath..... It is easy to go on to the next idea, don't forget to come back to your previous plates after a while, with a bit of a rest, you might see a whole new lot of possibilities!
Follow my own advice??? I wish!!! Happy Printing ;O)


  1. you have inspired me...i have not done reduction printing in years....i remember how fun it was now.....thanks!

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