Linocut – A Creative Guide to Making Beautiful Prints
Published by Herbert Press
This book by Sam Marshall is a comprehensive guide to Lino Cutting and Printing. I’ve had this book for a while and wanted to really absorb it before reviewing it. I’ve read it several times and it is a fantastic tool for learning about this art from beginner level to advanced.
I have done some lino cutting previous to this and my practice has mainly been confined to motifs and patterns. Reading this book has been an inspiration to me of how much further I can take this and has made me feel confident that with these instructions, I can do so much more.
Sam Marshall is a printmaker and teacher with a passion for what she does. It comes through the pages and infects you with an enthusiasm to try the exercises out. I didn’t realise that the kind of work seen by other printmakers was something that we are all capable of if we give ourselves a chance.
Sam takes us through all the basics, from the different types of tools and inks to sharpening your tools. Reading about the papers, ways of registering prints, cleaning up and printing gives you a good foundation for getting started. I learned things that were probably holding me back from taking the plunge and they were all set out in an easy and straightforward manner.
In getting started, you learn about cutting the blocks in different ways in order to see what type of prints you want. This will help you understand what you want to achieve and how you are going to approach the drawing and cutting. Once you have that in mind, you go on to learn about different ways of printing, including reduction printing which I always though sounded too complicated to try. Everything you need is in there and there are exercises to help you think about what your pieces will look like (for example, spending an hour in the garden, observing and sketching). I came away with more confidence to look again at photos of plants and flowers and think about how I could translate them into lino plates. There are many examples of Sam’s beautiful prints in the book to inspire you and I was thoroughly inspired to look at sun, sky, sea and nature in a more graphic way. This is a book that contains all the information to draw and print in the way that you see the world. I love this book and intend to use it to guide me on a trip down the inky road of artistic endeavours.
Here are some of my endeavours since reading the book: