Colour linocut workshop at Art Academy London

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!

Mixing colours

Colour blend

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.

linocut workshop prints

beach_hut Amaryllis butterfly fisheschurch landscape paddington_basin

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.


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3 Responses to Colour linocut workshop at Art Academy London

  1. Your work is giving me a very positive encouragement to go beyond my comfort zone. Thank you! Peace

  2. Leyna Lowe says:

    I’ve visited this site a number of times since I started lino printmaking earlier this year – this is a great, informative blog! I am trying my hand for the first time at making a reduction lino print, and I was wondering if you might be able to share some tips about layering colour. Should the first layers be more transparent? How do I know how the colours will behave together once overlapped – am I supposed to test them in advance? I haven’t been able to find any info about this online yet, so any tips would be very helpful! Thank you!

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