Home Painting Linocut Carving Methods for Newcomers

Linocut Carving Methods for Newcomers


Linocut: Study in a Weekend is a brand new guide by Margate primarily based linocut artist and printmaker, Nick Morley. Revealed by Skittledog (an imprint of Thames & Hudson Ltd.) the guide guides you thru the instruments and supplies you will have, and gives a lot of initiatives to get you began. Under is a chapter from the guide that outlines the assorted linocut carving strategies you need to use to familiarise your self with linocutting earlier than you make a begin.



Linocut: Study in a Weekend – Linocut Carving Methods

Textual content by Nick Morley | Pictures by Rita Platts

Carving lino may be very enjoyable; some individuals discover it virtually addictive. Like all ability, it takes apply to construct up your confidence. Earlier than you deal with any of the initiatives I counsel you carve a check block to get used to the instruments, and check out all of the completely different strategies that comply with. The initiatives every use a number of of those strategies. You possibly can refer again to this part at any time should you want a reminder.


What You Will Want

Lino block

Everlasting marker pen or acrylic paint

• Paper towel

Reducing instruments

Non-slip mat


Begin by making a check block to experiment with carving a wide range of marks and to get a really feel for the completely different instruments. You need to use the instance on web page 21 as a information however be happy to check out your personal concepts. Don’t fear about making your marks appear to be a coherent design, consider it extra like a sampler which you’ll be able to 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 elective, however makes it simpler to see your carved marks. The components of the lino you take away are going to be white, assuming you might be 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 reducing your self, at all times carve away out of your palms and away out of your physique. You’ll need to carry the lino along with your second hand, so be sure you are holding it to the facet or behind your reducing device. Place a non-slip mat beneath the block if you find yourself carving to cease it shifting round.


Holding the Instruments

Maintain the device so the deal with is within the centre of your palm. Your fingers must be pretty relaxed, along with your first finger pointing straight down the shaft. Be certain that the device is the fitting means up, with the leading edge pointing straight down.

The angle you maintain the device at will decide whether or not the reducing tip strikes ahead in a stage means as you push on the device, or strikes up or down. By elevating or decreasing your wrist you may management this. Increase your wrist barely to make a steeper angle and the device will go deeper into the lino. Decrease your wrist to make a shallower angle to deliver the reducing tip again up in the direction of the floor. In between you must discover the precise angle at which the device travels ahead in a steady line. This angle could differ between instruments.


The precise angle you have to maintain the device will differ barely relying on which device you might be utilizing.


Two widespread issues can occur right here. If the device goes too deep it may begin to tear the lino, and even get caught utterly. If this occurs, decrease your wrist barely to deliver the reducing tip up. Alternatively, if the device retains skidding and you are feeling that you just’re not 
in management, deliver your wrist up barely so the reducing 
tip goes down. These changes are refined and take 
slightly time to grasp, however it’s higher to practise now 
so you may management your reducing while you do your 
first mission.

You can see that you must push tougher with the bigger instruments, as you might be eradicating extra lino. Attempt to push the device along with your complete arm, utilizing your physique weight to generate the drive. If you use the smaller instruments or make shallower cuts, you want much less drive – a small motion of the wrist could also be sufficient. Your reducing approach will develop over time, however do attempt to hold the whole lot relaxed as a lot as attainable … and bear in mind to breathe!


Linocut Carving Techniques


Check Block Print Key

1. Diversified widths of line made by completely different instruments. Discover how the 2 ends of every line you carve are formed by the device. High to backside: 1 mm U, 3 mm U, 5 mm U, 1 mm V, giant V (shallow reduce), giant V (deep reduce).

2. Traces with a sq. finish. High to backside: 3 mm U, 5 mm U, giant V.

3. Curved traces. High to backside: 1 mm V, 1 mm U, 3 mm U.

4. Diversified width line made with giant V.

5. Circle made with 3 mm U.

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

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

8. Stars made with giant V.

9–10. Massive V.

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

12. Massive U semicircles.

13. 1 mm U wavy traces.

14. Massive V tapered traces.

15–17. 3 mm U.

18. 1 mm V.

19–21. 5 mm U.


Carving a straight line

Practise making straight, even traces of various lengths in your check block with every of your instruments. A good width of line is greatest made with a U-shaped device, with the scale of device figuring out the width. Use the big V-shaped device to chop a wide range of widths of line, together with a really effective line.


Diversified width of line

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


Making a line with a sq. finish

As a substitute of decreasing your wrist on the finish of a line, cease the device the place you need the road to finish, leaving the lino shaving hooked up to the block. Convey the reducing tip straight again about 2–3mm. Raise the reducing 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 method is simpler with a U-shaped device and with out the non-slip mat. Lean into the device and push the block towards it along with your different hand, being cautious to not reduce in the direction of your fingers. Rotate the block as you narrow, holding your reducing hand regular.


Curved traces

Light curves may be made by shifting your wrist or arm left and proper as you narrow forwards. Extra pronounced curves could require you to maneuver your complete physique. Attempt to hold your hand stage as you progress, so the reducing tip of the device stays upright.

Linocut Carving Techniques


Little semicircles and triangles

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



You can also make different-sized dots utilizing every of the U-shaped instruments. Maintain the device at 45 levels and stick it into the lino slightly means, then maintain the device regular when you rotate the block round it in a circle. The dots is not going to at all times be completely spherical, however with slightly apply 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 the direction of the centre utilizing the big V-shaped device. Maintain the device at a steep angle so the purpose goes down in the direction of the centre of the star.



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



Additional Studying

Linocut Printmaking for Newcomers – What You Must Get Began

Sharpening Linocut Instruments

High Linocut Ideas From Main Printmakers

5 Advisable Pfeil Instruments for Linocut


Linocut: Study in a Weekend is out there now at jacksonsart.com

Store Printmaking on jacksonsart.com



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