This is a very short little blog I’ve decided to write based on a flurry of questions I received from Instagram followers. People keep asking why my work in progress instagram posts seem to have tracking paper attached to them. The answer is quite simple and relates to some advise I was given years ago by my wonderful (& at times terrifying) art teacher Ms Cooke at School. If you are drawing in pencil, especially soft lead like a 2B then it’s really easy to smudge your beautiful work as you are developing the drawing. To get around this you can just add a sheet of something to act as a barrier between your hand and the surface you are drawing on.
When linocutting, my process has evolved to begin with a pencil sketch on the lino first that I use to map out the composition and then figure out my areas of black, white and colour. Once I’ve got this sorted I can then start carving the design out of the lino, but I found that by doing so I kept smudging my design and making my life harder than it needed to be. So, the simple solution is just wrap the design up covering the parts your not working on!
Protect your pencil linocut print design while you work
Here are a few simple step-by-step images that show you really quickly my method. Firstly choose the area you want to start carving first and wrap up the linocut design so that only this area is exposed.
Step 02, turn your lino over, fold the protective paper around the lino and then stick it in place with some masking tape.
Step 03 – Get busy on creating the next linocut masterpiece you’ve designed. As you work down the image, just tear the paper to reveal the next section and massively minimise the hand smudging potential as you progress.