The research of a subject for this project felt a little difficult to me, not fully knowing how to deal with linocut I was unsure of what kind of image could have the right impact once finished.
After sketching some ideas I decided to go for a picture of a mask, typical from my city Naples, called Pulcinella.
I sketched out a black mask with its typical white hat and tried to simulate what the finished linocut could have looked like by drawing the image with a white pastel on black paper.
Then I reproduced the drawing on the lino with some carbon paper and started to cut.
I wanted the mask to stand out from a plain white background so I decided to cut off the excess lino rather than working it with the tools.
Coming to the printing phase, after proofing the lino with some soft pastel, the result wasn’t as I expected. I realised that while I was quite satisfied with the way the hat looks, I didn’t like the effect of the mask. It was actually very difficult to represent something which is completely black, without contour lines, just by guessing where the highlights would have been. I could’t draw this subject from life so I had to imagine where the light was describing the volumes. Also being not that accustomed to lino tools yet, the highlighted areas didn’t have the fluidity I wanted them to have and they ended up looking pretty flat.
I thought of reworking the plate to make a better print, but cutting off more areas than I already did would have definitely get things worse, so I decided to leave it that way and learn from my mistakes.