Linocut Printmaking

Assemblage Workshop: An Introduction to Linocut Printing.

A workshop was held on 26 March 2011

The workshop was facilitated by: Niall Bingham

Materials used:

  • 12.5 X 14cm Linoleum flooring, per student
  • 1 tub of Continental Ink Company (Process Black Ink)
  • 1 set of Linocut tools per student (Herbert Evans)
  • Hannemuhle 300gsm offcuts
  • 4 large silver serving spoons for burnishing
  • 1 pack of Newsprint, from Antalis Paper Company, to protect table surfaces
  • 1 litre Mineral Turpentine
  • Old rags for cleaning up plates, rollers and ink slab
  • 1 Perspex slab for ink slab rollout
  • 2 Speedball Brayers

Summary of workshop by Niall Bingham:

Although I was expecting a better turn out of recipients, I was very pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm shown by those that did come.  I had eight students for the four hour course.

The focus over the duration of my workshop was very much on technique.  I encouraged recipients to focus on the art of carving and printing their plates, rather than on the outcome of the image.  Despite this, however, some of the prints were very beautiful, I guess one can’t expect artists to ignore composition and aesthetics completely!

In fact, three students managed to complete two plates over the course of four hours.

My intention was to equip recipients with the tools to make linocuts in their own homes.  This is a technique that does not require heavy machinery or large spaces in which to work.  I anticipated that this workshop would be pressed for time, but I realized that the size of the plates allowed us to negotiate time relatively well.

The Assemblage team are clearly dedicated to making a difference in our community, they strive to take artistic techniques to people who have not been able to make art for whatever reason.  I salute them for their efforts.  I am honoured to have been involved.

Linocut Printmaking: The Basics

Written by Mandy Johnston

Step One
Draw desired image directly onto lino or onto tracing paper using Koki or lead pencil. Bare in mind that if you draw directly onto lino you will end up with a reverse image print, just like a stamp. Tracing paper will allow you to draw text in the correct direction. Draw with lead pencil onto the paper, flip the tracing paper face down onto your lino and rub where there is lead. The lead will transfer to the lino.

Step Two
Using a marker black out areas that you do not want to cut out. i.e. the black areas to be printed.

Step Three
Remove all the white areas using various lino tools. Experiment with different shaped tools as they make various markings.
In large areas of white do not remove the entire area as you end up with a much richer lino if tint flecks of surface are left behind.

Step Four
Ink up your lino using a roller. Make sure that you roll the ink onto the roller evenly on a piece of glass or plastic before inking on lino. Count how many times you ink up by changing direction once you have inked the surface of your lino. Normally you will need to roll the roller over the entire surface three times. Count so that you know the next time how many to use, more or less.

Step Five
Place the lino face up on a clean surface. Dampen your paper. place the paper face down onto the lino and rub from behind with a large spoon in circular motions, making sure you rub every part of the lino. Put you back into it, don't fiddle.

Step Six
Peel back the paper to reveal the print.


For more technical information and an image reference: please visit

Suppliers: Herbert Evans/Art shop, Linoleum flooring/carpeting shops.

All images courtesy of Dirk Chalmers.