Tree © Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010
I quickly realised my first mistake: unless you are using a press, a paper with a rough surface is not a good idea. It took ages to produce even this result, and my hands felt as though they had been cut to pieces. I painted the red in afterwards but it still looked shabby - I'd coated the lino with emulsion first (to show up the design) but neglected to sandpaper the surface, so the ink was never going to take properly. But I'd Made a Start.
Fired with enthusiasm and virtually no knowledge I decided to attempt a reduction linocut, where you cut away the white areas first, print, and then cut away the next colour and print, and so on. I wasn't completely mad, though - I was still only using my two colours LOL. I didn't bother with proper registration, either, I just wanted to see what would happen (after all, this was my experiment and nobody else's!). I'd got hold of a couple of books on printmaking by now and using one of their tips I added a tiny amount of washing up liquid to the ink. And I used a smoother paper this time. Which yielded the following result:
Lily © Teresa Kirkpatrick 2010
Now, I'd be the first to admit that this is far, far from perfect - it's way out of register, for a start. But I loved it! the depth of colour, the zen quality of the simple design; I knew then that reduction linocuts are the way forward for me no matter how long it takes to perfect my skills. I'd sorted out what paper to use; I knew which way to go; now I had to try something a little larger than these 2 inch squares.
For my third experiment I went up to an A5 lino block. I'd found an excellent online tutorial here which helped me to set up my registration and organise my design. I abandoned the emulsion idea and used a waterproof pen to mark it up. When I began to print it I realised I'd chosen to work with four colours - which was at least one too many, but so what? I was Having a Go: