Back to the linocuts

shore bird linocut

After I finished the commission I decided to try a few more linocuts. I bought half a dozen just to experiment with and I think so far that the 5×7 size was a good choice. I was searching for inspiration so I grabbed my little sketchbook to draw a bit and see what happened. Well, what happened is that I saw that the last sketches I had done were of my wooden shorebirds. I had an aha moment and decided to use them as inspiration.  The birds are more like folk art and are not finely cut or painted but are pleasing to look at on the beam ledge as I walk up to the second floor.  I chose one that was standing erect and had a long beak.


I also had a turtle in mind but the sketch I had made on the block didn’t please me so I had let it sit for a few days.  When I went back to it today, I decided to add more.  I had the image of a group of hatchlings making their way back to the water.  Compositionally, it seemed to work out better when I redrew it adding more.

I have no clue what they will look like printed up because I don’t have enough experience yet.  I do think I will add the watercolor again.  My only concern is how much the printing ink will bleed into the watercolor.  The printing ink is water based and responds to the watercolors.   That will be tomorrow’s job.  I am actually looking forward to it – after I clean up the mess I made the last time.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy D.
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 17:29:09

    I’m looking forward to these! And I really like the composition with the turtles. I think just one turtle might have been good practice, but less a finished composition. On the other hand, once you’ve got the print you could add whatever you wanted! I have no experience with linocuts but I hope the ink doesn’t give you too much trouble.


  2. ruthsartwork
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 17:45:18

    It is messy, Cindy. And I don’t like mess on my hands so I wear disposable gloves. The print’s negative space will show much as it is now. I may decide to take more out so I can color a bit more but I’ll have to wait and see.
    I originally just had the single turtle and I didn’t like it. That’s why I added more.


  3. Sonya Johnson
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 23:37:05

    These are fabulous, Ruth! I would love to learn how to do linocuts; I’ve always liked them. I hope you’ll post pics of some after you’ve done some color washes on the prints – that will be fun.


  4. ruthsartwork
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 08:53:16

    That’s my next step Sonya. I should have something to post on Sunday. You should try it. It is not very expensive to start. I had cutting tools and a brayer from college, so all I had to buy were some lino block, inks, and. Even so, I could have gotten everything from Jerry’s Artarama for $50-75. Just get the blocks and cut away. It is fairly intuitive after the first one. You just have to remember the reverse.


  5. Ana@ChanelledCreations
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 15:04:14

    I love your lino-cuts and how they feel so natural because they are in nature. I remember I had a go while at high school and it was great fun and such a great pleasure once you got the hang of it. Wishing you well for your further work commissions and all your creative experiences. Have a great weekend!


  6. ruthsartwork
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 17:52:59

    Thanks Ana. I made them in college but not since oh so many years ago. I have printed them up and will post over the weekend. I can say I liked the way they have turned out.


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