Ancient Squid – Lino Prints


Lino printing is one of my favourite methods of creating art besides painting. I like the fact that you can reproduce the same image in different ways; the image itself is easier to access as there are many copies of the same image, yet each print is unique and has its own traits. It’s a bit like people. We are all humans, copies of the same types of cells and genetics, and yet each and every one of us is unique, and has our own traits.

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Ancient Squid Print 1

Ancient Squid Print2

Ancient Squid Print3

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Recently I’ve been studying the Stone age, Bronze age and Iron age in Ireland in art history class. The teacher told us to create a series of lino prints using some of the patterns from the Iron Age. Then I had to choose the best lino print out of our series and give it to the teacher to judge, as part of my November exam. I chose the following patterns, illustrated for you using Microsoft Paint:

Iron age patterns

Here’s how I made the prints:

  • I experimented with a few different ideas, drawing a few sketches before I ended up with a squid-like creature.
  • Once my idea was on paper, I drew the design the sheet of linoleum (which is a thick material with a smooth surface).
  • Then, with a lino cutter, I carved some of my pattern out (not all of it), and rolled some ink onto it.
  • I lined up the inky sheet of lino with a sheet of A4 paper, and press it onto the paper. I flipped the linoleum and paper over at the same time and rubbed the back of it, making sure that the ink would be fully pressed into the paper.
  • Afterwards, I carefully lifted the paper off the lino and this left me with a lino print. I left some of these prints as they were afterwards, but for some of my designs, I repeated the above steps, carving more of the pattern away, and I used a second colour for the ink.

I decided to post the best three prints on my blog, and they can be seen above, ( and as stated earlier, my very best one was handed up for my November test, so I can’t post it at the moment).

They came out fairly well, but there are a few problems with the prints. Parts of the paper that didn’t print so well because of dust and dirt that can get into the linoleum during printing, the prints a bit wet from the excess ink and they are a little off-centre.

Despite these issues, I think they look okay, but I’d be very interesting to hear what you have to say. Do you like them? Are they too simple, or does the minimalism I’ve used work? Do they have an Iron age feel to them, or do they look modern? Could they be improved?

I’m welcome to any comments or criticism, and hope that you do comment, and as always, thanks for reading!

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Posted on November 24, 2012, in Craft, Painting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Hello 🙂 I think your prints looks very unique, a really interesting combination of modern art and the old celtic style you were inspired by… I have to say my favourite is the middle one, the colours in it are so interesting 🙂

  2. Great prints! I’m just getting in to Lino printing and love seeing other artists work.

  3. I really like the motif you have used, I was wondering what type of inks you are using because you might find that trying a different type of relief ink will give you a better finish. it sounds strange but I would also suggest that you use baby wipes to clean the plate before you ink it as it will help with that dust problem just make sure it is really dry afterwards and it won’t interact in anyway with the inks.

  4. I am taking a relief print class and i am not sure its for me, but your prints above are great!

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