Linocut Camper

My latest linocut project, this cute little camper, popped into my head one morning. I wanted my next project to be a simple study allowing me to explore and grow my skills. I set to getting some references together and started sketching. The camper came together quickly. I wanted to make a digital version for another project, so I recreated it in Adobe Illustrator and gave it color. I then created the black and white image for transferring to my 8×10 lino block.

It was at this point my project went became a learning experience.

First I forgot I had already flipped the image for transfer and proceeded to flip it again. I struggled some with the transfer, but I was thinking ahead to the carving and how I would execute a few of the more tricky spots. Once transferred, I went over the transfer lines with a Sharpie and let that set over night.

The next day I started carving. I was delighted to find the linoleum very soft and made quick work of defining the negative space. I was still undecided on how to do the tire and the curtains and stopped for the day, giving me time to ponder.

The following day, with fresh eyes I realized my camper was facing the wrong way. I decided this made for a great learning experiment, freeing me to try a couple of different ideas. I’m not happy with the tire or the curtains but next time will be different.

I wanted to see my linocut camper through to the end and got everything ready for making a print. For my printers proof, I used the last of my tube of Speedball black ink. I made four prints on some paper I use for proofing. While I wish I had paid more attention to what I was doing while transferring the image, I feel good about the project.

Linocut camper

Linocuts: A Quick Project


Linocuts Update

This week was a busy one with a return to the linocuts project. Our new house affords us the opportunity to take on the projects we’ve been dreaming about for the past few years. Linocut prints are one of them.

Progress has been good. Right after the move I ordered set of new carving tools from Pfeil Tools, which have quickly become the best tools I’ve ever used. Before their purchase, I was using a Speedball carver set which was okay. It got the job done, though with some difficulty at the time. If you can afford to buy a good set of tools, it will make carving very enjoyable.

I have same several prints off of a flower design I threw together as a warm up, and I’m pleased with the results. Look for more linocuts updates shortly. The sketchbook is filling up with ideas, and I’m itching to get going.

I’ve decided to get started with doing some quick linocuts. Simple designs to get my brain thinking about negative and positive space, composition while focusing on technique. My strawberry linocut fits the bill. Sketched on a 2″ x 3″ unbacked linoleum, I went over the drawing with a blue Sharpie to protect the lines. It was a quick carve. I haven’t inked it up yet to see the outcome due to another project that came up sooner than expected. Hopefully, I’ll have some things to share very soon 🙂


Starting sketch for linocut octopus

Linocuts: humble beginning

For the past few years, the idea of linocuts has been in the back of my mind. It was something I once did a class in while attending art school. I liked it, but I was trying to focus more on painting that year. I wanted to return to it but life has a great way of changing your focus. It’s time to come back and visit linocuts again.

I’ve been messing around for most of the year with it. Exploring artists and their works, researching the masters (Hans Hoblein Dance of Death is a particular favorite of mine) and getting some sketches on paper was my primary focus. I was hoping I would settle on a style so when it came time, I could my journey with a sure foot.

Currently, I have four marine themed sketches in various stages of polish. I hope to have all of them ready for transfer to my linoleum blocks soon but one sketch is still rough. For now, I’ll get started on the octopus.

Starting sketch for linocut octopus


The collection will eventually include sand dollars, beach rocks, the afore-mentioned octopus and a starfish. Finish size is still up in the air.

Hope to have an update soon. The octopus is nearly ready to transfer to my block.

Screen printing love

I fell in love with screen printing when I was in high school. It started so innocently. A tee here, party invites there. Before long, I was doing two and three color tabloid sized prints for a few local groups. It was magical. It was probably the most creative time of my pre-adult life. When I graduated and started art school in earnest, I discovered new mediums, leaving the Speedball inks behind, discarded like some cheap hobby for the allure of spray fixative, figure drawing and watercolor. Oh the shame.

When I decided I was more interested in graphic design, I found screen printing had a sexy upgrade called offset printing with Pantone inks, sheetfed and web presses with their seductive din. The love was rekindled once more. That was nearly ten years ago and I’m ready to return to where it began.

Our printable DIY wedding invites have gone over well. They’ve taken over most of our planning meeting for the past year, leading us to expand into a more general invitation lines. We’re excited by our growth and we’re always thinking about our next step. And that next step is screen printing.

We like to send the winter planning our next years goals (we’re kind of crazy about planning) and we’re hitting our whiteboards already. Screen printing some short run projects will give us an opportunity to explore some of the more creative ideas we’d put into our “Later” bin. It’s all very exciting! Of course we’ll keep you updated.