Monday, November 23, 2015

Linocut Holiday Cards

So, last year I made my own holiday cards.  I did some sketches of an idea I had about two people walking through a birch forest in the winter.  I wanted white trees on a darker background, maybe with a splash of color.

When I had a sketch I liked, I decided how to best translate my image to a card.  Then, I transferred a completed drawing to a couple different pieces of linoleum (multiple colors mean multiple templates).  Next I did some test prints on different colors of scrap paper.  I found a black background too stark and spooky, but a cool grey looked just right with my red caped and black shodden folk as they travel to their winter destination.

I made about 45 of these 4.25" x 5.5" cards, and sent out around 20.  I packaged the rest up for sale and have waited until today to release them on my Etsy site, and to reveal the "how I made this" process here.

I started by creating a frame to hold my linoleum.
Nothing fancy, I use what is at hand - in this case cardboard.
  Since my linoleum isn't on a block, cardboard is a fine depth.
I outline my piece of linoleum on the cardboard,
and cut out the rectangle so the linoleum fits snug within.
Adding white ink to my brayer.
With my linoleum in the frame,
I drop down a protective cover for the edges, and began to roll.
I lift the protective layer up
so I can place my card on a clean surface.
Aligning my card stock with the inked linoleum.
A white bit of paper covers an inked area I didn't want to print.
A brayer will apply an even pressure to the raised areas of linoleum.
A bone folder works well if you don't have a brayer,
or if you need to focus on a spot that didn't print well.
And of course, you can use a spoon in a pinch.
The result of my print.
Next, hand-painting my people!

I actually flipped the card over
and used a small bone folder to print my people.
Here's how they printed... walking down the path.
Check out the finished product listing on Etsy, as of right now there are three sets left, each has 5 cards.

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