I decided to base the print on a quick sketch I'd made using 'MS Paint' a number of years ago:
After redrawing the design I thought it might be nice to stick him in a jungle setting (I didn't realise how much work that would mean at the time!). I used 3 lino blocks for the image - one for orange, one for black and one for yellow & green (I used a reduction technique to cut into the background yellow block to create the green block). Here are a couple of images of the print in progress:
And here's the final print:
With a handful of slightly imperfect prints, I ended up with just 33 finished prints in the edition. Not too bad for a first attempt and I've learnt a lot along the way. Here are some of the things I'll be trying to remember for my next print:
- Reduction should improve registration (i.e. all the colours will line up more easily if each colour is printed from the same lino block.
- Cut the full picture before testing. It's much harder to see where you're cutting after it's been inked!
- Use paper cut outs to mask big areas of the lino that shouldn't be printing (i.e sometimes the cut sections of lino pick up ink that you don't want to print, cover these up with clean pieces of paper before printing).
- Plan carefully! - Make sure you know exactly what you need to cut away at every stage.
- Wear gloves - printmaking is a very messy business but wearing gloves whilst inking up means that you should be able to keep the print edges clean. And it will cut down on repeated washing of hands.