Project 5 – Linocuts

Preparing a test linocut

The starting point for linocut was to make a test piece of 24 5cm squares, working on each square with a different tool or approach to get an idea of the textures and patterns each blade can produce.

After building my bench peg, I set about cutting the lino:

Lino on bench pegLino006

And my notes about the tools and techniques used:


Proofing the lino on tracing paper:


This indicated that the lines in two of the squares in the centre made by tool 5 might not show up as the lines are very fine. I re-cut some of these lines, angling the tool to cut either edge of the line in the same way as I had used the craft knife, resulting in deeper lines. The craft knife had greater control in cutting lines though, so I am not sure I would use tool 5 in this way. I left the wire brush marks in the other square which showed nothing on the proofing sheet to see if anything printed.

First test print:


The wire brush square did not print anything, and the two squares using tool 5 printed only a few lines (the ones which were re-cut), due to the cuts used being too light. After cleaning the lino, I re-cut these squares using different methods and tools, to test out cutting bigger white areas, and reprinted the test piece:



Tool 1


Good for detail, cross hatching, speckles, grass patterns?

Tool 2


Wobbling the tool makes a pattern like tree branches (or monkey puzzle tree depending how much you wobble!). Short stabbed lines like grass again?

Tool 3

Not centre cuts

Not centre cuts


Wider lines, good for removing more lino.

Tool 4


Tool 5


Only works to cut either side of a line, which gets fine lines, but without the control of a craft knife. Unless I’m missing something, I won’t be using this tool.

Tool 6


Seems to be the best tool for wobbling the blade and getting rough edges.

Tool 7


Nice wide lines, in a “sketchy” style when used lightly. Wobbling the tool produces lines like tyre tracks. Also good for removing a lot of lino, although the tool seems to go down too quickly and try to exit from the bottom of the lino.

Tool 8


Tool 9


Good for wider hatching, or tree branches with wobbling the tool.



Very light lines. Good for depicting grass.



Using a stiff metal brush didn’t work


A craft knife angles from both sides of the line gave clean accurate lines.

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