Project 8 – More Reduction Linocut

My tutor had suggested that he would have liked to see repeat printing with my ‘Paisley’ block and I thought I could with advantage also reduce it. In the original exercise, I had printed the motif side buy side and overlayed it. This time I thought I would reduce it and try combining it with a motif of a different scale.



Project 6 prints

Since I had not originally intended to reduce this plate, and I had cut away all around the edges, registration was going to be an especial challenge. Deciding on how to reduce the plate was easy, the pattern offered me lots of opportunity. I did a test print in a light coloured ink and used felt tip over the top to design my reduction. I decided not to cut much for my second layer, but quite a lot for my third. I also designed a smaller, simpler paisley plate to print as a background repeat.

tundra (7 of 7)

Second layer

Small motif

Small motif

I used the small motif to print a variety of background sheets on different papers, in pastel colours. These had to be stamped on. I also created some background papers using monoprints created with acrylic paints. I created a rippled effect and added iridescent paint to mimic the effect of sheer silk fabrics.

To print, I used:

  • a card registration jig for A3 papers
  • registration blocks for the irregular monoprinted papers (trying to select the best textures)
  • for some prints, I used the Albion press, but some, on delicate papers were hand pulled.


Three layers on plain cartridge

Three layers on plain cartridge, poor registration

Three layers on monoprinted iridescent background

Three layers on monoprinted iridescent background

Three layers over printed background

Three layers over printed background

Three layers over stamped background

Three layers over stamped background

Three layers combined with stamps

Three layers combined with stamps, on tissue,  poor registration

In one print, I decided to print the second layer twice (confident of imperfect registration) in contrasting colours before the third layer. I then went and printed the final layer upside down! That ‘oh deary me bother’ moment when you peel back the paper. Actually, it has ended up as one of my favourites! With four layers, the cutting marks have become cluttered.

Happy mistake.

Happy mistake.

On one print I added some randon scraps of chine colle. These looked horrid with the first layer, but quite subtle with the second. I thought the tones here were just balanced, and decided to omit the third layer.

Two layers and chine colle on khadi paper.

Two layers and chine colle on khadi paper.


  • the paisley motif lent itself very well to reduction
  • cutting away a small amount around existing edges, for instance the stars in the centre, worked well
  • the chine colle adds interest
  • the combination with a smaller motif is a good idea but colours and contrast have to be carefully considered
  • I have really enjoyed playing with the fractal nature of this shape.


  • since I hadn’t planned this plate for reduction, registration was difficult
  • colour choices could have been better. I was worried about how contrasting colours would look layered up, but the more adventurous colour choices are better.
  • this motif looked lovely printed on tissue paper, but the creases from its packaging have persisted after pressing – consider mounting on cartridge paper?

About starrybird

I am mature student studying art with The Open College of the Arts. My passion is printmaking.
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