Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Areas of Contrast in One Colour Linocuts

When planning your linocut, one of the first things you will need to consider is creating areas of contrast: solid colour vs blank areas; and plain vs. textured areas.

Plain vs textured

Blank vs solid

You should try to seek achieve a balance between these.  The dachshunds print below is a good lesson in achieving a balance of contrast between solid colour and blank areas. 
Linocut demonstrating good balance of solid vs blank areas.

The badger print illustrates a harmonious balance between textured, solid and plain areas.

Badger print illustrates successful balance of solid, plain and textured areas.

Have a look at the design below of Daddy Bear using the printing press.

In this first print, the details of Daddy Bear are lost in an area which is too textured.  Texture dominates the print with too small an area of solid colour.

This second linocut is much more successful.  Daddy Bear is seen from a different angle.  Although the coat is still textured, the new pose opens up more opportunities for creating contrast.  The press occupies a greater area of the linocut.  As it is a solid area, it acts as a better background to Daddy Bear, and allows him to stand out more. Finally, the background is plain which works much better than the textured background in the linocut above.