Fiona Horan

Reduction Linocut in Progress – Part Three

Time for the third and final colour – a semi-transparent Prussian Blue.  First, I tried an experimental print or two allowing the sky to print as blue instead of orange.  To achieve this, I had a couple of stage two prints where I had kept the orange ink off the sky area.  This allowed the blue ink to overlay the orange on the building to appear as a dark brown-blue, but remain simply blue over the sky.  Victoria Palace night sky  Hmmm . . . quite like this . . .  striking.

But – back to the original plan – an orange sky.  Here is the lino block by this late stage.  VP lino block

And here is the print with this final colour.

Victoria Palace Theatre linocut third colour

This semi-transparent blue ink overlays the orange to create an inky brown blue. For these prints I use oil-based Caligo Relief printing inks.  So far, I’ve not been very impressed with water-based inks.  Oil-based inks take forever to dry, but have beautifully rich colours.  Caligo inks can be cleaned from equipment with water – so you get the best of both worlds!  This edition is printed on acid-free cartridge paper.  I don’t currently have access to a press, and print these images by rubbing the back of the paper with a Japanese baren and a spoon.  I find that this smooth, medium weight paper works best for my way of working.

So, in this case, I have only used three colours (excluding the white of the paper).  I have occasionally used many more – but less does seem to be more when it comes to linocut colour schemes.