Oak Leaves & Acorn Linocut

Autumn has arrived in this colourful print of oak leaves and an acorn. Actually there are two timelines in this print, the green acorn and green leaves of the summer, and then the hint of autumn change with the leaves turning orange and a blustery sky. I love the shape of oak leaves and the beauty of the sun shining through them especially when their colour is changing.

This linocut is a 6 colour linocut, created from three blocks which printed the first three colours; and then each block was further cut to remove more material and then these were used to print the last three colours. This method of printmaking is known as a multi-block reduction cut; and it means the edition cannot be printed again as you no longer have the earlier stages of the blocks to print from.

Printed by hand using Caligo relief water-based ink on specialist printing paper, Zerkall 210 gsm. The yellow highlights on the leaves and stems were hand coloured with acrylic ink (making the seventh colour in the print).

This edition has 15 prints in total and it is available in my Art Finder shop.

Here is a gallery of rough proofs for each colour printed.

 

 

 

(© Catherine Cronin)

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Top tip: How to correct slippery relief printing ink

I’m using Caligo Safe Wash Relief inks to print my ‘Oak’ linocut. When it came to printing the dark green layer defining the acorn and its leaves I found the mix of phthalo green and phthalo blue ink was really slippery, it didn’t roll out like ‘velvet’ and I didn’t get that ‘kiss’ sound between the rolled out ink and brayer. I tried to print with it and found it was filling my cut lines and blobbing on the cut edges of my lino block.

Find me on ebay

After researching the web, the solution that kept coming up was to add magnesium carbonate to the ink, which would ‘stiffen’ the ink up. I found that art branded magnesium carbonate is expensive and sold in a large quantity. Instead I bought 50 grams of magnesium carbonate via ebay, from a company that sells it in a pure form for use in food products, cosmetics and a variety of other applications – who knew!

I added half as much magnesium carbonate to my ink and mixed well. The result was a stiffer ink that rolled out like velvet and didn’t clog on my lino block. I recommend giving this a go if you too are struggling with slippery ink.

This is my ‘Oak’ print so far; I’m just figuring out if I’m going to add another layer to the orange leaves…

(Apologies for poor photos but my camera ran out of battery power!)

© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Oak Leaves & Acorn Collage – 01/12/2016

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately due to preparing for two Christmas Fairs. I’ll be at the Horniman Museum this weekend, it looks like it will be a very merry affair and it is free, you can find all the details here: http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/horniman-christmas-fair

I’ve been playing with drawn collage which is a good way of finding out how to balance different elements of your picture. I think this collage of oak leaves and acorn could make for a bold linocut print, what do you think?

englishoakacorncollageccronin_web

 

(© Catherine Cronin)