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:
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:
Good for detail, cross hatching, speckles, grass patterns?
Wobbling the tool makes a pattern like tree branches (or monkey puzzle tree depending how much you wobble!). Short stabbed lines like grass again?
Wider lines, good for removing more lino.
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.
Seems to be the best tool for wobbling the blade and getting rough edges.
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.
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.