Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail

Getting creative – Block printing

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I can’t believe where the time has gone this week. I have been getting carried away drawing mushrooms and leaves, and messing around with some stuff called Adigraf ( a plastic/ rubbery material) and lino, all week.

I know, its a tough life !

I want to start learning more about  different types of printing through the Winter. It is a bit cold in my workshop for cutting and stitching leather ( and a bit risky using such sharp tools with frozen hands), so I thought printing is something I can do in my  living  room, with the wood burner to keep me warm on cooler days. I managed to get my hands on a piece of adigraf and lino and a few cheap throw away cutting tools, when I popped to Coimbra the other week, so I decided to start with a bit of block printing. I have to say the cutting tools are pretty useless, and out of the six I bought, only one of them manages to make a reasonable job of cutting. However, one was enough for me to at least have a go at the basics. I wanted to try and get my head around something called reduction printing.

Reduction printing is when you make a print with 2 or more colours, using only one piece of lino. Although I understood the idea, it is something I could not picture in my head, and so I had to try it to get to grips with how it works. I cut out a few leaf shapes in Adigraf, and gouged a few vein patterns in them, before printing them in a light coloured ink. I then cut out a second set of veins, and using a darker colour printed over the top. The leaf then became the second colour, apart from the veins I had just cut which were the first colour. I did this one more time, and so ended up with three different colours on my leaf . It was great fun, and the leaves came out better than I expected . Of course once  you make the second lot of cuts it is never possible to go back to printing more of the first stage, and for this reason reduction printing is also called suicide printing .

I then did the same thing, using some mushroom shapes .This time I  used some old oil paint mixed with a printing medium . I only had 3 colours , and so the colours were  a bit limited, and I was too impatient to let the first stage dry before printing the second, so the colours were a bit merged, but I understood  a lot more about reduction printing, which was the purpose of the exercise.

Once I get a few decent lino tools and some  printing ink I want to make some prints of the bridge, and church in Gois.

First I will need to sketch them out, and find a composition I like,which will keep me busy for a while.

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Author: portugalholidayguide

I love making and creating , and trying out new ideas .

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