Once upon a time there was a linoleum print of a church. But the church fell and a huge gorilla took it’s place. Now we have to rename this print from “Church in the Forest” to “GROOOOOOOOAAAAARRRR”.
I was about to finish a few drafts on the huge but lovely topic of cryptozoology for Global Ideas (the Deutsche Welle project I’m an editor for). Among the contents of the story where three short blog posts about the history of the most famous cryptid species, and an interview with Loren Coleman, a well known veteran in the cryptozoology business. All the texts would need pictures, and obviously there’s a problem to find satisfying pictures of Nessi, Bigfoot or the Yeti.
So I asked some of my artist friends to participate, and to illustrate the great unknown species. We all have an idea of how Nessi, the Yeti, Bigfoot and huge monster spiders could look like. But I was curious how these creative people would solve the task. They did impressively as you can see here.
I asked to personally do a linoleum print of Nessi, the famous Loch Ness dinosaur. You may already know that ist possible to find a few blurry photographs that are meant to proof Nessis existence. But I didn’t want to simply copy them. So I decided to take a look under water and see if we could catch a swimming Nessi. It’s there, but we still have to discover it.
This gallery shows the process of the production. The red circles on the picture on top are prints of different spherical objects (like a film can or a pen):
This is just a first try, I’m learning. Lessons today:
1. I need more brayer in different sizes.
2. Leave more print area.
3. Wait until the first layer is dry.
4. Avoid big overlay areas.
Anyway, the landscape can be found almost everywhere in Brandenburg. Wherever trees line at farm tracks.
I used two printing
blocks as you can see on these pictures:
I always had in mind to use black and red as colors for the print.
And at the end had the following result:
I am not perfectly happy with the print. With the lessons mentioned above in mind I still have a lot of work to do. But I get a feeling for these kind of prints, too.
With the next landscape in mind I put finishing touches on this portrait. It has a deadline, so I have to be quick. Again, a photograph is the basis for the print.
The idea was to create another two-color print. And still I haven’t found the best approach to match both print blocks best. From the first (not mirrored) sketch with the help of carbon paper to the first print a few days went by.
As the additional color I took a blue-green (thought about cinnabar red at first, but that has a bloody attitude).
Most of all I like the paper, a very thin handmade paper in ecru.
When I got more into this linoleum issue, I found that portraits are a pretty nice way to use this technique. The problem here still is that two colors are more interesting then just one. But what color matches a face best? Green is to greenish, yellow to yellowish, red… you know what my point here is. So I’m still not sure how to go on with this portrait of E.
This print is the first one I accompanied with photos completely. This are the steps in detail:
And I still don’t know if to add another color or to just keep it this way, in black & white.
I have no idea where or when exactly the photo was made which I took as a basis for the following linoleum print. I guess it’s an old holiday pic of my parents or grandparents, dated somewhen in the 1960s. I found it coincidentally while I was scannend a bunch of old slides.
I tried to simplify the picture a little bit. It became more like an experiment as the follow up print was just my second since I practiced linoleum prints in school and also because it was my first attempt to use a block with a size of 297 x 420mm. It’s pretty big and it takes a while to cut out all the material.
This portrait of “M.” is the first portrait linoleum print I did. We had a photo shooting a few weeks before the print. One of the resulting pictures was the following (it’s already mirrored!):
I’m still not perfectly happy with the mouth and I removed the black strokes at the throat as the work advanced. So finally I added another color to fill the face, it’s burned ochre (or something like that).