The first thing that any budding lino-cut artists needs is a design to cut. I dipped into my extensive comic back-catalog and pulled out an image I created for my Dead Hand comic. I'm calling this one "Blood is thicker than mud". If you want to know why, then you'd better go and read the comic. My artwork of this period is very much of a style that looks like lino-cuts and I wondered if it would translate.
The lino block I chose to use was a tiny test block which measures 7.5cm by 7.5cm. It's not what I was expecting. The lino is about 3mm thick and made of a very pliable, soft rubber. I worried that I was going to cut through it. One side is super smooth and the other has slight roughness to it. My guess was that I needed to use the smooth side as the cutting face.
Knowing the size of the block, I printed a reversed version of my design and stuck it to the block with some Remount Spray adhesive. It felt like I was cheating a bit here, not drawing the design onto the block by hand but I was desperate to get cutting. I haven't seen anyone else doing cuts this way, so I kind of expected to hit challenges with this approach... and I did.
I was just checking on some extra blades I'm waiting on and spotted this.
Artists... You've got to love them!
Back to lino-cutting...
The finished block doesn't look like much does it. I peeled off the last of the paper and tidied it up a bit. Would I be brave enough to print with it? Damn right...
I let them dry over night and the ink has come up beautifully rich. Here's a close-up of probably the best print I achieved. Lovely. I definitely need to do more of this!
I'll leave you with the wonderful sounds of Ralph Stanley. It was a sad day when he passed away last month, but his legacy lives on. RIP Ralph.