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Project #3: Reduction Soft Lino Print

Wednesday, 23 January 2008 by Irene Hoofs

*Please advise that this project is for children ages 7 and up and they should be supervised by an adult.  In the near future there will be print projects for younger children.
What you will need:
*1 piece of soft linoleum 3 x 3 in.
*a pencil and permanent marker
*a lino cutter  *a roller
*plexi-glass to roll ink on (anything flat that can be washed and reused will work)
*a variety of block printing ink colours
*scrap paper  *3 sheet of good heavy weight 7 x 7 in. paper to print on
*hair dryer (optional)
This project  allows  you to get  a multi-colour print from a single piece of soft-linoleum. 
step 1:
..trace the soft lino on a piece of scrap paper – draw your image with pencil.  Place the soft lino face down on the image and rub the back of the paper to get a transfer of the image.  The image will be a mirrored image.  Sometimes it’s a good idea to take coloured markers or pencil crayons and colour in your image to better plan what to carve out.
step 2:
..trace your image with a permanent marker so that it won’t wash off and place a large arrow on the back – so you know which way is up.
step 3:
..decide what part of your image you want to be white and cut that out first before inking your first colour. I chose a little bird.
step 4:
..roll ink over your soft lino – make sure to not use too much ink as it will slip and move when you press down on it. Please make sure each layer of ink is dry before printing the next colours.
It is advisable to go from light colours to dark colours, but sometimes it’s nice to see dark colours coming through the light colours.
step 5:
..press down firmly all over the back of the soft lino.
step 6:
..lift to reveal your first layer – light green
step 7:
..you now carve out the area of the image that you want to be light green – the trees and grass
step 8:
..roll the colour ink that you want for your next colour – burgundy
step 9:
..press down firmly and remove to reveal your second colour – burgundy
step 10:
..carve away the area on your image that you want to be burgundy -  branches and tree trunk
step 11:
..roll the last colour on your lino – light blue
step 12:
..lift to reveal your final layer – light blue sky.  Let stand to dry.
Final note: try different colours  on several sheets of paper before continuing onto the next step – once you carve it away the image is gone.  Also try printing on coloured paper – construction paper works. beautifully.

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