The title of this post is from the Dr Seuss book of the same name and it kept running through my head as I did this printing process. But aside from having fish and colours in it, it has little to do with this post.
The aquatic theme still finds its way into my work and here into Watermarks. This stylized fish was from an old piece that I had done years ago and now translated into a lino print.
I've been looking longingly at lino printing for awhile and decided that it was about time to plunge in. The full process from design to print can be read on my blog, Illustrated Life and today I have played around with some more colours and papers to see what I could come up with.
My next experiment will be to add other colour or texture to the pieces after they have dried. Right now they are being printed on 9 x 6 sheets of anything from plain old sketch paper to Somerset and this black smooth paper which I can't remember the name of.
So what have I learned from this so far?
1. Choose your design carefully. It needs to be something that translates easily to lines and value blocks. I'm sure you can create something as complicated as you like, but I think that less is often more.
2. Think 10 times and cut once! Deciding on what will be printed with ink and what will be cut away can be a challenge as you're working in reverse, almost a negative effect. I found some thumbnail sketches trying out various values works well to give me a good idea of what looks good or not.
3. Have the right tools - or close to it. In my need for instant gratification, I accessed most of the tools I wanted locally but not all of them. While my final prints didn't turn out too badly, some finer gouges and a baren would have helped, as well as access to a broader selection of lino blocks. Thank heaven for mailorder!
4. Research. Despite my need for instant gratification, I did take time over the past week to do a lot of reading on lino printing and watched a lot of videos on the process. It really makes a difference to me to have both written words to reference and the visuals of watching someone actually completing the process.