Designing a Print: Sketchbook to Lino

Designing a print
View from Mount Sunday, Canterbury
The sketch, the plan, and the design drawn onto the lino

This photo captures the typical process I follow when designing a landscape linocut print.

  1. When I am on location I sketch out a scene that interests me using ink and watercolour.
  2. Back in the studio I transfer the dominant lines onto tracing paper (this makes the scene easily reversible).
  3. I then transfer these dominant lines onto the lino in mirror image, and start to add in shadows and other details. I don’t like to overplan the drawing on the lino at this stage or make it too detailed. I like to leave space for creativity as I carve. Carving is such an absorbing and tactile part of the process that I often diverge from the original plan as I start to ‘feel’ the image and see new possibilities.

The next step for this piece of lino will be to apply a light ink wash over the whole piece. This helps to make the carved areas stand out more clearly as I work.

As you can see designing a print takes several steps, with a lot of room for creativity and exploration throughout the process. As a result my prints are never photographic reproductions of a place but instead they capture a moment in time or the sense of a place

You can see some of my finished landscape linocut prints that I designed using this process in my online gallery.

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