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)

Japanese Anenome Linocut – First Cut

I designed a Japanese Anenome linocut last year; you can see the different designs here. I am going to print this using the reduction cutting method; I have cut the block for the first colour, which will be a pale blue.




(© Catherine Cronin)

Letter G Linocut Design – Second Colour Printed

I have joined a linocut group on facebook, where members can sign up to print a linocut letter for different themed alphabets. I have chosen the letter ‘G’ for a freestyle alphabet, image size 15×15 cm. You can read more about how I came up with my design here. And about printing the first colour here.

Letter G linocut first colour printed © Catherine Cronin

Letter G linocut first colour printed

I am doing a reduction linocut of three colours; below is an image of the ‘soft-cut’ block cut for the second colour to be printed. Only the letter ‘G’ will be printed; I left some ‘triangular’ shapes near the edge to give a bit of stability to the block.


I am using Caligo waterbased inks; the first colour I mixed was taupe (yellowish light grey), this second colour is straight from the tube, Naphthol red.



I was worried that my registration method for printing the block in the same position in relation to the paper would not be accurate enough. There has been some slight movement on some of the prints but it is pretty spot on. Image below shows the block inked in register on an acetate sheet, the printing paper is lined up with the black horizontal and vertical lines towards the bottom and right. I have used cut paper to mask off areas of the block that have picked up ink in the lower level which I don’t want to print.



Here are the prints drying, so far so good; I have one final colour to print which is black, hopefully the registration will be okay for the last colour too – fingers crossed!


(© Catherine Cronin)


Reblogging – Aquatint Using Hairspray

Great ‘how to’ article – reblogging: Aquatint Using Hairspray

from http://www.printingindahouse.wordpress.com

On aquatint using hair spray

by Debora Ando


I would like to introduce this method as an easier and more practical alternative to aquatint materials already in use in print studios and schools. Hair spray is a chemical product and therefore may cause allergies or reactions. For precaution wear adequate gear and designate an enclosed space where the hair spray can be handled avoiding spreading of the particles.

Materials for the aquatint using hair spray …….. ”

Continue reading article here – Aquatint Using Hairspray



Letter G Linocut Design – First Colour Printed

I have joined a linocut group on facebook, where members can sign up to print a linocut letter for different themed alphabets. I have chosen the letter ‘G’ for a freestyle alphabet, image size 15×15 cm. You can read more about how I came up with my design here.



I am doing a reduction linocut, also known as a ‘suicide’ cut. Once the first colour is printed you remove more lino from the block to print the next colour and so on for each subsequent colour. This means that if you make a mistake you cannot start again. There is no going back with a ‘suicide’ cut.





I marked out the image on my ‘soft cut’ lino using biro; making sure that my letter ‘G’ was drawn as a mirror image so that when I take a print, the print will show the letter ‘G’ the correct way around.The O and X marks denote areas of colour. Where there are no O and X marks that is the material I want to remove first.



I mixed the first colour which is taupe (a yellowish light grey) using Caligo waterbased inks. I wanted a warmer grey than the graphite pencil as seen in my sketched final design.

I found out that if I didn’t roll on the ink to completely cover the biro pen markings on the lino block, the biro pen actually started to print onto the paper – that was an unwelcome surprise.

LetterG_CaligoInksFirstColourweb LetterG_rollingInkFirstColourweb





I regret the registration method I used to make sure that my lino block and paper could be printed in the same position for each colour. I marked out my lino block in relation to the position of the paper with marker pen on acetate. This method works, but it is not 100% accurate, there is a slight movement of position each time you line up your block and paper. As my image depends on the geometry of the design I should have used a more accurate registration method; I realised this too late! I will have to press on and hope that any movement is very slight and not too noticeable when it comes to printing the next two colours.

(© Catherine Cronin)


Letter G Linocut Design

I have joined a linocut group on facebook, where members can sign up to print a linocut letter for different themed alphabets. I have chosen the letter ‘G’ for a freestyle alphabet, image size 15×15 cm. The deadline for the final image is the end of January. Here is an insight into how I came up with my final design: as a starting point I already had the idea that it would be be a graphic image made up of coloured triangles where the letter would be part of the background pattern but at the same time different enough to ‘read’ as a letter; I also limited myself to 3 colours as I don’t have much time to execute the print before the deadline. It is interesting to see that the second design settled the form and colour of the letter, but it took another three designs to settle on the background and a realisation that for clarity the letter had to be very different to the patterned background. The letter only shares the triangle form with the background. I really like this image and I might carry on with a whole alphabet in this style.

First Design

First Design


Second Design

Second Design


Third Design

Third Design


Fourt Design

Fourth Design




(© Catherine Cronin)

Weekly Sketch – Playing with collage, Alcazaba of Málaga – 24/10/15

I’ve been playing with collage to try and understand an image I want to make of the Alcazaba of Málaga.  Based on a photograph I took, I’ve been painting the separate elements, cutting out the forms and fitting them together to make the image. This process helps me to understand how the different forms and colours relate to each other, and what is or isn’t working. I already have some ideas now on how I want to take this image forward.



(© Catherine Cronin)