This is a type of relief print (relief is when the image is raised due to the cutting or etching of a printing surface in such a way so that all that remains of the original surface is the design to be printed and this is the area that holds the ink).  This is the opposite to intaglio print (intaglio is when the image is incised into a surface and the incised line/sunken area holds the ink and is therefore the section that will be printed).  


Linocuts can by prepared by hand or press.

OPTION 1 - Manual



1.  Draw onto your lino cut block.  Rather than drawing directly onto your drawing block, an easier option would be to use tracing paper.  Another option would be to rub pencil or graphite onto the back of the page (on which you drew your design) and then trace back over the image on the other side, and onto the lino block, and this will transfer your image onto the block.


2.  Using your carving tools (eg. a V-shaped chisel or gouge), carve into your linocut drawing.  Remove the parts that you DON'T want to print.  The sections that you don't remove will be the sections that will hold the ink for your print.


3.  You will now need ink (eg oil based block printing ink), paper and a brayer.


4.  Ink up your brayer.  A good idea is to place some of the ink onto a surface similar to plexi/an ink plate and to then ink up the brayer by running the brayer back & forth on this surface so as to ensure that it is evenly coated before using on your linocut.  You don't want a large amount of ink on the brayer, just enough to coat the surface.  Too much ink will cause smudges to your print.


5.  You will now ink your linocut in order to transfer onto a page.  Lightly run enough ink on to coat the surface of your block/linocut with the brayer.  Try dampening your paper slightly by rubbing it with a damp tissue as this can help to pick the print transfer up better onto your page.  Also, you could make some register marks on your page so as to know exactly where to place the page on top of your linocut.


6.  Place your page on top of the inked linocut.  Use even pressure to apply.  You could use, for example, a wooden spoon to burnish the back side of the paper once the paper is placed on top of your linocut and ink.  A baron is a tool that you can buy and use to apply this pressure instead of a spoon.  



OPTION 2 - Block Printer Press


Follow steps 1-5 as per Option 1 and then, instead of step 6, place the linocut (covered in a surface of ink and with paper on top) within the Block Printer Press and press it down on your linocut in order to transfer your print.

OPTION 3 - Roller Printer Press


A Roller Printer press is typically more expensive than the Block printer press as the press includes rollers.


Follow steps 1-5 as per Option 1 and then, instead of step 6, run the linocut (covered in a surface of ink, with your paper placed on top of the linocut and sitting on a bed - ie. sheets of paper/newspaper) through the Roller Printer Press by turning the rollers.