Tip 4. Linocuts are as simple or as complex as you want to make them.

Lino cuts are one of the simplest printing media, but astonishingly versatile. Here are some examples:

 

Sally Heinrich print

Sally Heinrich, ‘The Jungle fell Still and Silent’, hand coloured lino cut and illustration for ‘One Step at a Time’, children’s book, story by Jane Jolly, due to be published in 2014

Sally Heinrich, an Adelaide artist, hand colours her lino cuts, and on this occasion they are also illustrations for a children’s book with a powerful message.

Lynette Weir, Rainforest Wildflowers, NSW, hand coloured lino cut

Lynette Weir, Rainforest Wildflowers, NSW, hand coloured lino cut

Lynette Weir uses the same technique, but she focuses on floral motifs.

Rachel Newling, Red Panda & Catbird, hand coloured linocut

Rachel Newling, Red Panda & Catbird, hand coloured linocut

Rachel Newling  combines botanical studies with birdlife, producing spectacular results.

Christine McCarthy, 'Spring Bunch', hand coloured lino cut

Christine McCarthy, ‘Spring Bunch’, hand coloured lino cut

Back in my home state again, Christine McCarthy is another very talented South Australian printmaker.  I particularly like the way she plays with other artists’ images:

Christine McCarthy, 'Judith after Matisse', hand coloured linocut

Christine McCarthy, ‘Judith after Matisse’, hand coloured linocut

Gail Kellett shows an astonishing sense of design in her studies of landscapes and farm machinery.

Gail Kellett, 'Baler', hand coloured lino cut

Gail Kellett, ‘Baler’, hand coloured lino cut

But although I love the vibrant colours in these prints, I also love pure black and white.

Gail Kellett, 'Royalty', lino cut

Gail Kellett, ‘Royalty’, lino cut

These prints are all skilfully carved, and take many hours to complete.

However, equally stunning work can be produced in a much shorter time, as these prints by Matisse demonstrate:

Henri Matisse, lino cut,  Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 1941-1942

Henri Matisse, lino cut, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 1941-1942

Henri Matisse, 'Dors, Dormeuse aux cils longs', lino cut

Henri Matisse, ‘Dors, Dormeuse aux cils longs’, lino cut

Another thoughtful and original South Australian artist, Lloma Mackenzie, uses black and white – and grey – to great effect in this print, a comment on communicating in sign language:

Lloma Mackenzie, 'Communication is not Always in Black and White', two colour lino cut

Lloma Mackenzie, ‘Communication is not Always in Black and White’, two colour lino cut

By chance, all these Australian artists happen to be female! Let me redress the balance with a picture by one of my favourite Torres Strait Islander artists, Michael Nona.

Michael Nona, 'Yazau Ulakal' (herd of Dugong), lino cut

Michael Nona, ‘Yazau Ulakal’ (herd of Dugong), lino cut

Whatever your personal drawing style, lino cuts can be adapted to what you want to do. If you would like to have a go at this eternally popular medium, check out my printmaking classes page for upcoming workshops and classes.

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