I started the reduction linocut project by gathering as many information as I could on the process, as it looked quite confusing to me in the first place.
The image I chose to depict comes from a quick sketch I did some time ago, when I used some cucumber under my eyes. Other than being an appealing image to me, there was a certain connection with the concept of taking care of myself. Self love is something that constitutes a big focus for me lately and art is therapeutic in that sense.
So I started transferring my design onto the lino and when the image was already there, I decided that I wanted some leaves and flowers around the girl’s image, because she is not only caring for herself, but she is also connecting with nature. So I improvised some plants and flowers in the bottom of the image and few leaves in the background.
I started to cut the areas I wanted to be white as a first step and run a 5 copies print in light green.
I was very confused at first about the way I should proceed, but somehow since I printed that first colour on paper everything became clear in my mind and very logical.
So I proceeded with cutting and printing a light skin tone, a darker one on top, then dark red and finally dark green.
I originally planned on a last layer in black, but decided it was not necessary and could have actually spoiled the colour balance. The dark green came out in fact much darker than expected, as a result of the colours overlapping, so I thought I didn’t need anything darker than that in my picture.
I used water based inks and even though they produced an interesting texture which I guess wouldn’t have been achieved otherwise, they were difficult to handle as they got dry pretty fast. Also the fact that I printed by hand made a big difference in the result, combined with the inks low quality.
Overall I am satisfied with the outcome, as it was my first reduction lino and I am pleased with the fact that the colours are exactly where I wanted them to be, even though I realise that there are a lot of little details that could have contributed to make the image look a lot different than what it is.