Research Point: Multi Block Linocuts

19/09/16

Research Point: Multi Block Linocuts

Look at the work of Edward Bawden, and his son, contemporary printmaker Richard Bawden. Take a close look at the way they have worked with multiple blocks.

I decided to make most of my notes in my sketchbook for easier reference whilst working. I have saved some of my favourite images to my Pinterest board:

https://uk.pinterest.com/ginaemmett/contemporary-printmakers/

Edward Bawden

Reference sites:

Wikipedia

www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/edward-bawden-707

Specific images discussed:

Sahara (1928)

www.Edwardbawden.co.uk

Swan and Grass (white, yellow, grey) (1950s)

www.Edwardbawden.co.uk

 

Edward Bawden - notes regarding multi block printing in A4 sketchbook

Edward Bawden – notes regarding multi block lino cuts in A4 sketchbook

 

Richard Bawden

Reference site:

http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/catalogue/artist/richard:bawden/

Specific images discussed:

Amaryllis:

http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/catalogue/artist/Richard:Bawden/RBNIS003/?category=prints

Finchingfield:

http://www.birchamgallery.co.uk/catalogue/artist/Richard:Bawden/RBNIS043/?category=prints

Richard Bawden - notes in A4 sketchbook

Richard Bawden – notes regarding multi block linocuts in A4 sketchbook

What can you learn from them?

  • The most obvious point is the importance of clean registration when overprinting with numerous blocks for layers of colour.
  • As Edward Bawden’s linocuts were often designs for wallpaper, they needed to be simple yet effective, fresh yet representative of their subject.
  • A larger piece of work can be made by using smaller blocks printing alongside one another, be that for wallpaper or a larger image.
  • With Richard Bawden, I learnt that any level of detail is possible by using minimal colours with overlays of (black in his case) outline, directional line for contours and variations of hatching and stippling for tonal changes.
  • A multitude of colours may be suggested when only 3 or 4 are actually used. Layering transparent colours can produce another and optically mixing by placing textured colours alongside each other also enhances the illusion.
  • Simple subjects can be taken out of the ordinary by the treatment given to them.
  • There is no subject that can not be attempted.
  • Although I did not find any process information for the two artists, I got the impression that many drawings and plans were worked through before cutting the lino.
  • I am also very glad I studied these two printmakers before attempting the printing of my multi block linocuts! It’s reiterated the care I should take and given me inspiration and a little more confidence to just do it!

 

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