My colour linocut workshop at Art Academy London has just finished; four days of learning about mixing and layering colour and making multi block linocuts. The Art Academy is near London Bridge, a stone’s throw from Borough Market and every printmaker’s favourite supplier, Intaglio Printmaker (I took the students there at lunchtime on day two – it was a long lunch break).
Day one of the workshop was spent learning how to carve using different tools (something I do in all of my workshops). Each student made a test block using the full range of gouges to make lines, dots, pattern and texture. In the afternoon I showed them how to make a two colour print using the key block system. This is where you have a black outline on one block and the colour on the second block. We learned about registration and printing on an etching press and a book press.
This is the first time I have taught a linocut workshop focussing on printing in colour and I enjoyed spending some time talking about colour theory and how to mix inks. Day two was spent making a three colour print with blocks in cyan, magenta and yellow, overlaid to produce red, green, purple and brown. I then demonstrated how to mix black using only primary colours and how to make a pale grey by adding extender. I also challenged the students to mix ink to match a specific colour – harder than it sounds!
On day three and four of the workshop the students made a three or four block linocut, applying the knowledge they had learned. This was quite a tall order and some cake and sweets were required on the last day to boost productivity (thank you Erica and Jane). The final prints were all a success and displayed a range of approaches, resulting in strikingly different but equally beautiful prints.
I should be back at Art Academy next year to run a couple more linocut workshops. You can see details of all the courses they run in the print room on the Art Academy website.