Linocut Carving Strategies for Freshmen

Linocut: Study in a Weekend is a brand new e book by Slot Online Margate primarily based linocut artist and printmaker, Nick Morley. Revealed by Skittledog (an imprint of Thames & Hudson Ltd.) the e book guides you thru the instruments and supplies you will want, and gives quite a few tasks to get you began. Under is a chapter from the e book that outlines the assorted linocut carving methods you should use to familiarise your self with linocutting earlier than you make a begin.

Linocut Carving Techniques

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Linocut: Study in a Weekend – Linocut Carving Strategies

Textual content by Nick Morley | Images by Rita Platts

Carving lino might be very stress-free; some folks discover it nearly addictive. Like every ability, it takes observe to construct up your confidence. Earlier than you sort out any of the tasks I recommend you carve a check block to get used to the instruments, and check out all of the completely different methods that observe. The tasks every use a number of of those methods. You’ll be able to refer again to this part at any time in case you want a reminder.

What You Will Want

• Lino block

• Everlasting marker pen or acrylic paint

• Paper towel

• Chopping instruments

• Non-slip mat

Begin by making a check block to experiment with carving quite a lot of marks and to get a really feel for the completely different instruments. You should utilize the instance on web page 21 as a information however be happy to check out your individual concepts. Don’t fear about making your marks seem like a coherent design, consider it extra like a sampler which you’ll refer again to. Upon getting completed carving your check block, print it by following the directions within the Printing part.

Earlier than you begin, color within the floor of the block with the marker pen or brush some acrylic paint diluted with water onto the floor after which wipe it off with a paper towel. You need simply sufficient to stain the floor, with out leaving any bumps or ridges of paint. This stage is non-compulsory, however makes it simpler to see your carved marks. The components of the lino you take away are going to be white, assuming you’re printing on white paper. Colouring the block helps your mind get used to this, because the components you carve out will seem lighter than the uncut areas.

Linocut Carving Techniques

Linocut Carving Security

The instruments are sharp, so to keep away from chopping your self, at all times carve away out of your arms and away out of your physique. You’ll need to carry the lino along with your second hand, so ensure you are holding it to the facet or behind your chopping instrument. Place a non-slip mat underneath the block if you find yourself carving to cease it transferring round.

Holding the Instruments

Maintain the instrument so the deal with is within the centre of your palm. Your fingers ought to be pretty relaxed, along with your first finger pointing straight down the shaft. Make sure that the instrument is the fitting manner up, with the innovative pointing straight down.

The angle you maintain the instrument at will decide whether or not the chopping tip strikes ahead in a degree manner as you push on the instrument, or strikes up or down. By elevating or reducing your wrist you possibly can management this. Increase your wrist barely to make a steeper angle and the instrument will go deeper into the lino. Decrease your wrist to make a shallower angle to deliver the chopping tip again up in direction of the floor. In between it’s best to discover the precise angle at which the instrument travels ahead in a steady line. This angle could fluctuate between instruments.

The precise angle it is advisable to maintain the instrument will fluctuate barely relying on which instrument you’re utilizing.

Two frequent issues can occur right here. If the instrument goes too deep it could begin to tear the lino, and even get caught fully. If this occurs, decrease your wrist barely to deliver the chopping tip up. Then again, if the instrument retains skidding and you are feeling that you just’re not 
in management, deliver your wrist up barely so the chopping 
tip goes down. These changes are refined and take 
somewhat time to grasp, but it surely’s higher to practise now 
so you possibly can management your chopping while you do your 
first undertaking.

You’ll discover that you need to push tougher with the bigger instruments, as you’re eradicating extra lino. Attempt to push the instrument along with your complete arm, utilizing your physique weight to generate the power. Whenever you use the smaller instruments or make shallower cuts, you want much less power – a small motion of the wrist could also be sufficient. Your chopping approach will develop over time, however do attempt to maintain all the pieces relaxed as a lot as doable … and keep in mind to breathe!

Linocut Carving Techniques

Check Block Print Key

1. Assorted widths of line made by completely different instruments. Discover how the 2 ends of every line you carve are formed by the instrument. Prime to backside: 1 mm U, 3 mm U, 5 mm U, 1 mm V, massive V (shallow minimize), massive V (deep minimize).

2. Strains with a sq. finish. Prime to backside: 3 mm U, 5 mm U, massive V.

3. Curved strains. Prime to backside: 1 mm V, 1 mm U, 3 mm U.

4. Assorted width line made with massive V.

5. Circle made with 3 mm U.

6. Dots. Prime to backside: 1 mm U, 3 mm U, 5 mm U.

7. Semicircles made with 3 mm and 5 mm U. Triangles made with massive V.

8. Stars made with massive V.

9–10. Giant V.

11. Giant V carving with sideways and up-and-down movement.

12. Giant U semicircles.

13. 1 mm U wavy strains.

14. Giant V tapered strains.

15–17. 3 mm U.

18. 1 mm V.

19–21. 5 mm U.

Carving a straight line

Practise making straight, even strains of various lengths in your check block with every of your instruments. An excellent width of line is finest made with a U-shaped instrument, with the dimensions of instrument figuring out the width. Use the big V-shaped instrument to chop quite a lot of widths of line, together with a really nice line.

Assorted width of line

By various the depth of the instrument you may make the road wider or narrower. That is particularly efficient with the V-shaped instrument. Increase and decrease your wrist as you carve. Attempt a curved line by transferring your wrist back and forth in addition to up and down.

Making a line with a sq. finish

As an alternative of reducing your wrist on the finish of a line, cease the instrument the place you need the road to finish, leaving the lino shaving hooked up to the block. Carry the chopping tip straight again about 2–3mm. Carry the chopping tip to bend the lino shaving up and over till it breaks off.

Linocut Carving Techniques

Carving a circle

To make a circle or a pronounced curve, rotate the block as you carve. This system is less complicated with a U-shaped instrument and with out the non-slip mat. Lean into the instrument and push the block in opposition to it along with your different hand, being cautious to not minimize in direction of your fingers. Rotate the block as you narrow, maintaining your chopping hand regular.

Curved strains

Mild curves might be made by transferring your wrist or arm left and proper as you narrow forwards. Extra pronounced curves could require you to maneuver your complete physique. Attempt to maintain your hand degree as you progress, so the chopping tip of the instrument stays upright.

Linocut Carving Techniques

Little semicircles and triangles

To make a semicircle, maintain the U-shaped instrument at 45 levels and stick it into the lino, then pull it again out midway. Carry the instrument to bend the piece of lino again on itself till it breaks off. Triangles might be made in the identical manner as semicircles, however utilizing a big V-shaped instrument.


You can also make different-sized dots utilizing every of the U-shaped instruments. Maintain the instrument at 45 levels and stick it into the lino somewhat manner, then maintain the instrument regular whilst you rotate the block round it in a circle. The dots won’t at all times be completely spherical, however with somewhat observe you may get them fairly shut.

Linocut Carving Techniques


To make a star, carve inwards from the tip of every level of the star in direction of the centre utilizing the big V-shaped instrument. Maintain the instrument at a steep angle so the purpose goes down in direction of the centre of the star.

Textual content Copyright © 2023 Nick Morley
Images Copyright © 2023 Rita Platts
Linocut: Study in a Weekend revealed by Skittledog (an imprint of Thames & Hudson Ltd.)

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