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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
1h00

Learn how to turn a photograph into a linocut
This project explores how to translate a linocut print from a photograph by tracing the image onto the lino, and provides you with another chance to practise your fine cutting skills. If you feel less confident about your freehand drawing skills, tracing a photograph and translating it into a linocut is a handy technique to try if you have an image to hand that you think would make a particularly striking linocut print.

Posted by Search Press Published See Search Press's 192 projects » © 2019 Susan Yeates / Search Press · Reproduced with permission. · ‘Beginner’s Guide to Linocut’ by Susan Yeates ISBN: 9781782215844 RRP Price: £9.99 Publisher: Search Press Available from www.searchpress.com
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  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 1
    Step 1

    Cut a piece of lino to the size of your photograph – in this example, the photograph is 15 x 10cm (6 x 4in).

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 2
    Step 2

    Study your photograph and trace its outlines onto tracing paper with a pencil. You may wish to use masking tape to hold the paper in place. Focus on the most important elements of the photograph and simplify the design if there is a lot of detail.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 3
    Step 3

    Lay a sheet of carbon paper over your lino block. Flip over your tracing paper and place it on top of the carbon paper so that you will be transferring a mirror image of your print. Draw firmly over your design in pencil so that it transfers onto the lino. Use a hard pencil such as a 2H to ensure that your lines are sharp.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 4
    Step 4

    Lift off your carbon paper to reveal the design transferred onto the lino block. This will be a mirror image of your original photograph. Use a fine black marker pen to go over your lines if you need to strengthen them before cutting.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 5
    Step 5

    With your original photograph in front of you, cut away all the parts of the design that you don’t want to print – that is, the parts that will be white. Start with the outlines and then work around the rest. Use smaller tools (1mm or 2mm gouge tools) to cut out fine details or marks.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 6
    Step 6

    Use larger tools – 4mm or 5mm gouge tools – to clear away blank areas such as the background of the print.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 7
    Step 7

    Once your cutting is complete, brush away any small pieces of lino and rub away your pencil marks with an eraser so that they do not print.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 8
    Step 8

    Roll out your relief ink on a large shiny surface such as Perspex or glass, using a roller.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 9
    Step 9

    Load your roller with ink, and ink up the surface of the block.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 10
    Step 10

    Lay your block, inked side up, on a sheet of cartridge (backing) paper and lay a sheet of smooth white printing paper on top of the block. Burnish the print onto the paper using the back of a wooden spoon.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 11
    Step 11

    Lift off the paper carefully to reveal your translated print. Check that you are happy with the finished result – if you need to alter or adjust any elements, wash off the ink with a damp cloth and cut into the lino again.

  • How to use a printing techniques. From Photograph To Print - Step 12
    Step 12

    Warning
    Work with a photograph that you have taken yourself, rather than the work of another photographer. This is to avoid any potential difficulties with copyright contention.

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