Reduction Linocut Process with Doug Anderson
Doug Anderson is an art teacher and a printing enthusiast, well known in the Lititz area. In his presentation he explained and showed to the audience 'in word and in deed' the basics of the printing process with the linocut technique.
Doug started his presentation with an introduction into the history of printmaking, which goes back to the Medieval Germany (with a revolutionary approach invented by Johann Gutenberg) as well as to even earlier China and Japan. He explained that the first prints were made with impressions from carved wooden block. It was only later that substitutes like linoleum were invented, making the surface more even (no wood grain) and the process more precise.
Next Doug explained how in the course of time the printing process was becoming more sophisticated. From being mono-colored (black ink on white paper) prints evolved into multi-colored images. And several ways to achieve the colorful result were invented, including using several individual blocks individually covered with particular ink, as well as the reduction technique, which Doug uses himself.
The idea of 'reduction' is that the print maker works on the same panel/board, gradually carving out different areas of different color, step by step, and making impressions of that color on the whole edition of prints. Doug prefers to first mark the white areas and carve them out, then proceed with colors from light to dark.
"Once you are finished with the design, the rest of the process becomes tedious. But some people might find it therapeutic."
He then made a demonstration showing the last step in his piece with a head of a girl. He already had several prints ready, which was perfect for this presentation.
After inking a special roller on a sheet of glass, Doug covered with that ink the whole plate of linoleum and placed the paper on it. Thoroughly pressing down with a special hand tool (alternatively an old plastic spoon may be used!), Doug made sure the impression was fully transferred.
To show the process once more, Doug repeated it on a second print and then answered the questions from the audience.
A demonstration can be best enjoyed in person! Join us for the next meeting!
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TEXT & PHOTO CREDIT: VITALY BORISENKO