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Black & White Relief Cards

Black & White Relief: Winter Scene Cards

Challenge: Create a set of 4 winter scene cards using the linocut printing technique. Also create packaging for them as if they would be sold in a store.

Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The cut areas can then be pulled from the backing. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a press.

Materials: Linoleum, linoleum cutters, ink, paper

Phase 1 –Planning
  • Introduction: PowerPoint & Examples
  • Research multiple designs for your image for the card, include images from other artist, images that inspire you
  • Brainstorm & Draw
  • 5-6 well developed drawings exploring animals, winter scenes
  • 3 designs of different animals
  • 2 designs of different backgrounds for the animal
  • 3-4 samples of texture/pattern/ embellishments to make the image look more 3d/ more life like
  • Finalize image
  • Draw out image in exact size and proportion of linoleum block
  • Color in image with black marker what you want to be printed black, leaving the white areas what you will cut out with the linoleum tools.
  • Demonstration: Transferring your image to the linoleum block
  • Transfer image to linoleum block
Dimensions & Requirements:
  • 4 x 6 inch block
  • image of a winter scene with an animal in it
  • no text
  • texture/pattern/ embellishment within image enhancing the animal & scene
  • an edition of 4 prints
Phase 2 – Cutting
  • After transferring the image, color in the areas you wish to keep black with a black marker
  • Demonstration: How to use the linoleum cutting tools
  • Practice cutting: use the back of your block to practice cutting using the cutting tools
  • Begin to carefully carve away the areas you did not color in with the black marker.
• Always carve away from yourself
• Keep your non-cutting hand behind your cutting hand on the linoleum or on the table.
• Carve slowly, so you do not slip and carve in areas you wish to keep.

Phase 3 – Printing
  • Demonstration:
  • Setting up the inking station
  • How to roll out ink (and how we share space)
  • How to ink your block
  • How to print your block
  • Roll out ink
  • Ink your block
  • Place paper on your block
  • Spoon the paper to transfer the ink
  • Carefully peel off the paper and place on drying rack
  • Re-ink your block and repeat until you have 4 images exactly the same.