Linocut - we print on postcards, t-shirts, walls!

My name is Max Eltsov, I am an artist from Novosibirsk. I want to introduce you to one of the techniques of creative interest for me - linocut. In short, this is cutting a stamp on linoleum and then imprintingon any flat surface. I print postcards (they are prints, prints), T-shirts (resistant to washing, of course), decorate the walls.

Printing on fabric (in this case a T-shirt):

Printing on the walls in the Novosibirsk bar:

Print on paper:

This art originated at the turn of the XIX — XX centuries with the invention of linoleum. For the first time artists of the German group "Most" used it as an engraving material in 1905. At the end of this entry.

In paragraphs 1-3, I set out the technical details: what tool, paint and linoleum to use. From point 4, the practical side will go (how to draw, cut, etc.). Unfortunately, there is a limit on the length of the masterclass, so I broke it into 2 parts.

1. Tool.What and where to buy

For carving on linoleum I use wood cutters, they are called stihheli. Without them in linocut in any way. I do not recommend buying the cheapest ones, as they are quickly dulled, and the work will not be a thrill. An acceptable option for me is the shtiheli company "Tatyanka", cost from 400 rubles per piece. Sold in Leonardo.

Shtiheli divided into 4 categories: 1) Line (flat) - an analogue of the usual stationery knife; 2) U-shaped; 3) V-shaped; 4) U-shaped (rare). Inside each category of the shtiheli are of different widths - from 1mm to 10-15mm.

I do not advise you to buy sets, since at first two whishers will be enough: V-shaped 1-2mm and U-shaped 6-8mm + stationery knife, which will serve you as a flat shtihel.

When working with cutters, always cut away from you, and with your free hand hold the linoleum sheet closer to you (the first photo). Under these two simple conditions, your fingers will delight you for a long time!

2. Linoleum. Which one to use and where to get it

Usually, dense non-porous linoleum, which does not have a fleecy substrate, is used, for example Tarkett or any other technical linoleum used for office space.

When you are going to buy linoleum, it is best to take a shoe with you and check how it is cut from the outside and from the inside. Sometimes with the inner cut is more convenient. Soft linoleum with a clutch with shtihel is torn and crumpled, the hard one behaves like a tree.

Tip - you can search for builders who lay such linoleum and ask them for trimming.

3. Paints

The choice of paint is primarily dependent on the surface. For printing on T-shirts and fabrics - acrylic paints on the fabric. For printing on paper - printing or acrylic paints. For printing on the walls - acrylic on the walls. Of course, the colors can be mixed and get any desired color.

I'll tell you a little more about printing on textiles, because we need the paint to be well absorbed and withstand machine washings.

I use the colors Love2art, Decola, Tair - they are all sold in Leonardo. I don’t like Dye-na-flow and pebeo paints, the price-quality ratio did not suit me. Pearlescent and metallic paints do not advise taking, they fall worse and the effect is not particularly visible.

After drawing the picture on the fabric, it is necessary to fix the paint thermally by ironing it at the maximum temperature.When ironing it is necessary to put a board under the drawing, as otherwise the drawing will be printed through. It is necessary to iron after drying.

I recommend laying a thin cloth or gauze between the print and the iron so that the iron does not smear the relief.

4. Drawing drawing on linoleum

Drawing with a ballpoint pen.

Already in cut and print.

At first. Linoleum should belight coloured. If linoleum is dark, then we pre-paint it white with any paint that will wash off (water emulsion, for example).

Remember that the print (the same impression) - a mirror image of the stamp. Therefore, the pattern transferred to linoleum should be a mirror image of the desired print.

Options for transferring the pattern to linoleum:

1. Through a carbon copy. It's all clear.

2. Using a laser printer.

We scan the image, make a mirror image in any graphic editor, print it.

We take the printout, put the pattern on the linoleum and iron it on top with an iron with very strong pressure and at the highest temperature. Accuracy is required: if linoleum is overheated, it can go blistering. The darker the print, the better.

We are waiting for the linoleum to cool.If the paper is strongly stuck, then we moisten it on top and wash it with your hand. After that, the picture is transferred to the linoleum.

3. Using an inkjet printer.

We put the printout face down on the linoleum, gently dab it with a brush or cotton pad on with a nail polish remover or acetone. Then we press down the picture, for example with a roller.

The quality of the transfer will depend on the ink in the printer. The darker it is and the bigger it is (on the printout), the better.

4. In the old-fashioned way - to draw a picture in a mirror reflection on the linoleum itself (in coal, ballpoint pen, marker, ink).

There is an alternative to linoleum - rubber from art stores. Perhaps for beginners this is a worthy option (I have not tried it myself)! The main disadvantage is that it is much more expensive than linoleum. I cut quite a lot, so I prefer linoleum, as our grandfathers cut 🙂

I assume that the options described for the transfer to linoleum will also work for rubber. 1 and 4 will work for sure

5. Cut stamp

So we have a drawing on linoleum. The most time consuming process is cutting.

Let me remind you once again that the most important thing issafety engineering!! When working with cutters, always cut from yourself, and with your free hand, hold the sheet of linoleum closer to yourself.

It must be remembered that we cut the background, and to come into contact with the surface and, as a result, the painted part will form the print (lines of the picture).

A fine pattern is better to be cut out either by a U-shaped rod with a width of 1-2 mm or a V-shaped 1-3 mm. We use a wide U-shaped shtihel to select large areas inside the design, and a flat one (also known as a stationery knife) to select the perimeter (around the stamp).

We must try not to cut through the linoleum, but if it does happen, then there is nothing terrible.

Be sure to leave around the perimeter of the picture a small indent from the convex part of the stamp, so that at the moment of tearing the linoleum from the surface, there is nothing to catch.

After you cut out the stamp, it is imperative to wash the linoleum with a stiff brush so that all the unnecessary pieces come off, the water-based paint, printer paint or ink is washed off, in short everything is superfluous.

If we want to use the print often (for example, I often use my logo), it's better to paste it on a rigid substrate (plywood, wood, brick).You can glue on anything (silicone, superglue). The most important thing is to glueBEFOREcutting out the stamp. Otherwise, at the time of labeling, the hollow parts can become high relief and imprinted on the surface, which will ruin your stamp.

6. Paint application and printing

Necessary equipment: roller and palette. I use a large piece of glass as a palette, it is very easy to wash off acrylic from it. Not the most practical option, as it can break. In general, any smooth, smooth surface that is comfortable to wash (so that the paint is not absorbed into it) is suitable.

Roller suitable stitching for wallpaper from any hardware store. It is soft, rubber-foam rubber. They come in different sizes, it is convenient when the roller in width approximately corresponds to a print, it is possible that it is smaller.

Pour the paint onto the palette and roll it out with a roller so that there is a thin uniform layer of paint on the roller. If we want to get a complex color, then immediately roll them and mix them. If we want to get a gradient, then we pour paint of several colors side by side and roll it out so that the gradient is transferred onto the roller. It will take a little practice.

Then we transfer the paint with a roller onto the convex stamp relief. Evenly roll out. It is better to roll with a roller with a thin layer of paint 2-3 times, then the paint on the stamp will also lay down with a thin layer and will not be poured into the relief.

Need to printAt onceafter paint application

There are 2 ways to print:

1. Put a sheet of paper on top of the stamp - when printing on paper, this method is more convenient.

When applying paint on a stamp, we inevitably stain the surface on which the stamp is located. To ensure that this surface does not stain the work, it is better to move the stamp to a clean place.

2. We apply the stamp to the surface on which we print (t-shirt, wall).

With multicolor linocut, when several prints are made on one sheet, creating a single picture, only method 2 is applicable, otherwise there will be no exact hit.

Perhaps that's all. Finally, I'll show you what else can work.

Linocut I make out my envelopes, labels, business cards, boxes. In short, everything that comes to hand!

Cut basic things like some simple logo can not even be able to cut and draw, so do not be afraid to try. I wish you success in the development of linocuts.

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