Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reduction linocut

Building on basic mono-chromatic linocuts, reduction linocuts achieve multiple color, but only using a single plate/block. The limitation is that there are a finite number of prints that can be made and that number is decided at the outset.

To start, I cut only the places that I want to be white - once the linoleum has been cut out, it doesn't print. Standard practice is to print the lightest color first, using a system of registration to ensure that later prints align to the initial color. It's a good idea to print more than your planned edition to allow for mistakes and color testing.

After all prints (including extras) were pulled, I cut out the areas that I wanted to be the initial color that I printed. In this particular print, there were only a few changes (compare a proof of the first print, top, with the second print, above). Using the system of registration, I printed the second color on top of the first set of prints. This process is repeated with progressively darker colors, until all colors have been printed.

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