Category Archives: Project 9

PM1:Project 9:Experimental mark-making on Lino


Techniques used

Square 1 : In this square I used a I cm square sharpened chisel. A number of techniques were attempted with the chisel including scraping with the corner of the implement and twisting the blade.

Square 2: Coarse sandpaper rubber in a back and forward motion in this square.
This imprint was difficult to pick up when the plate was heavily inked. Where it was visible, it reminded me of rain or mist.

Square 3: Coarse sandpaper was used in this square but had to be reworked rubbing harder than before in a circular motion to create a visible imprint. This impression was still hard to pick up when the plate was inked, but where it was visible, it reminded me of seed heads or tumbleweed.

Square 4: The point of a Stanley knife was used to create the effect of cross hatching, with the blade drawn back and forth. The marks were very delicate and were visible best on the first inking run. As more ink was added, it was very easy to lose sight of the marks.

Square 5: The blade of a Stanley knife was used in a twisting motion. This reminded me of animal footprints. I thought that this technique had excellent potential for further work in a snowy landscape.The marks were easily visible.

Square 6: For this square I used the Stanley knife to create small puncture marks. Again this technique has he potential to be used to create the impression of snow in a landscape. The marks were easily visible.

Square 7: Here I used a 6 cm chisel edge twisted. I thought that this technique had the potential to create marks reminiscent of birds in flight. The marks were visible but not too clear.

Square 8: In this square, a pointed chisel was used. This technique created marks reminiscent of animal prints. The marks were clearly visible.

Square 9: Here I used lightly grained sandpaper. The marks were very hard to see in printing and were not visible even with very light inking on fine tissue paper.

Square 10: In this square, I used the points of scissors in both vertical and horizontal scraping motion. I had to used larger scissors to create visible marks but liked the final marks made which could be used to Crete crosshatching for creating tone within a print.

Square 11: In this square, the points of scissors were used. These created lovely fine marks with the larger scissors which could be used for plant forms for example, grasses

Square 12: In this square I used the pint and the edge of a chisel. The marks were reminiscent of animal prints, pebbles or snow.

Square 13: Here a chisel was used in a repeated turning motion. These were visible on first inking. The marks made, reminded me of tumbleweed.

Square 14: Here, a chisel was used to score the Lino with its edge. This created the effect of very fine plant forms and could be used to represent grasses or fine seedheads. These marks were only just visible on the first inking and we’re hard to keep as more ink accumulated on the Lino.

Square 15: In this square, I used the corner of the chisel to create marks which created lovely fine lines which could be used for plant forms.

Square 16: Here I used the serrated edge of a chisel to create marks which could be used to create plant forms.

Overall Comments on the Exercise

The most obvious observation was that many of the marks were reproduced best on the first inking of the plate. Following further inking, many of these marks became very difficult to see, particularly in squares 13-16.
Light inking of the Lino, prior to the addition of a grid to demarcate the square created lovely delicate effects which could definitely be used in abstract work. My own plate reminded me of the Galaxy, where, in this context, the marks which looked like plant forms on the grid assumed a likeness to shooting stars. The print created the suggestion of muted light reminiscent of the Milky Way.

Some of the techniques explored in this project could be used to add variety to existing mark making, for example adding shading and tone to figurative work.

I think that it would be difficult to maintain consistency in the appearance of a series of prints, as successive inking would result in the loss of definition in many of the fine marks.

Choice of Paper

I experimented with creating prints using a variety of papers including: brown paper, coloured cartridge paper, and black and white tissue paper. These were added to my sketchbook.

I noticed that for very fine marks made with the implements I had chosen, the finer the paper, the better the impression obtained.

Choice of inks

Until this project, I had used water soluble inks as it is difficult to work with oil based inks in my working environment. Where water-based inks were used, I noticed that the use of white ink on black paper was very effective in creating the effect of a snowy landscape. I definitely thought that this had great potential for further work.

White ink on black paper was effective even as a ghost print, creating the impression of mist or a frozen window.

In the previous project I used an overlay of white at the end of the layering process and really loved the snowy effect it created.


Print 1: “Cosmic Wonder”

This print was created from the mark-making exercise with the addition of  grid marks in pencil on the Lino, without these being transferred  in the cutting process. This allowed a more unified abstract result to be obtained using a selection fine marks across the whole page. This technique works well in creating the illusion of a cosmic vista.

I think this works best using black ink on white cartridge paper. The marks remain grainy, creating an illusion of distance that is felt when looking at stars on a clear night.

I loved how the uptake of ink on the paper is variable across the page, with the sandpaper altering the surface slightly in a way which reduces the amount of ink on the page. I think this is crucial for the image obtained.

I was pleased with the edges of the print and the cleanliness of the the edges. I do think that it would be very hard to reproduce the same effect with consistency throughout a print run as the marks are so fine that they could easily be lost.

Print2: “ Snowy morning”

This print was created from the test print using water soluble white ink printed over fine cartridge paper. The addition of the grid suggested a window pane and the variety of marks were reminiscent of animal prints in snow. The use of white ink on black paper works well in this context.

I was pleased with the level of reproduction of marks achieved in this print and managed to create sharp edges with no smudges with this imprint.

I would like to experiment further with the use of white on black paper. It is a combination which works well. The effect is different from that created by printing black over white paper, with a more opaque effect achieved which is more suggestive of the snowy landscape. The use of black paper allows a more grainy effect to be created.



Research into contemporary printmaking


Visual Links Printmaking


Research into Contemporary Printmaking

Review of the work of Karen Kunc


My interest in the work of Karen Kunc came from the my own investigations into experimental mark making for Project  9, and from earlier work looking at physical forces such as momentum, where I used masking to represent atoms and how they interact when subject to force. The results I obtained were arrived at in a relatively random manner, flowing from the investigative process and I became interested in how another artist might investigate and represent similar themes.


The work of artist Karen Kunc is rooted in her interest in the natural world and how this might be represented in a visually stimulating manner. I was attracted to her woodcut “Luminous Wonders”(Kunc, K. 2008), which juxtaposes small white rounded forms on a black and white background on the left of the picture plane (which could be suggestive of cellular bodies or atomic particles), with vivid blue concentric rings to the right, which could be interpreted visually as cosmic entities, for example the rings of Saturn. Alternatively these could be viewed as organic elements such as the rings found in thecross section of a tree trunk.

The artist has also added further small round discs above and below the blue concentric rings. To the viewer, these forms could again suggest either cosmic forms or cellular elements. The lower disc is deep blue, fading towards the outer portion of the disc, with a halo of complementary orange placed on the very outer part of the disc, emphasising this form, and helping to unify the work by picking up the orange colours used around the cellular forms on the left of the picture plane.

The artist uses extended landscape format for the work which allows her to develop a sense of the expansiveness of space or the infinitesimal and to develop “ images of creation and preservation” (Fik B,Grabowski, B, 2015: 88). This is also suggested in the stretched envelope encasing the discs on the left of the picture plane.

In their textbook, “Printmaking”, ( Fick and Gabrowsky, 2015:88 ) set out an account of  Kunc’s working methods. These  include: the carving of images onto birch and veneer plywood, followed by the application of different methods to add colour, including use of the reduction process, and the use of multiple stencils to permit the addition of several colours. The artist discusses her preference for printing colour directly onto white paper to retain intensity of colour.
Her process includes the use of transparent colour in the early stages of the work, followed by the addition of more opaque layers at a later stage.
The Woodcut “Treasure Trove” (Kunc,K:2005) by the same artist,  looks to organic sources for inspiration. The artist uses a very narrow, elongated horizontal format ( 14×80 ins) to develop a print which seems to simulate a cross section of the earth, enclosing rounded and elongated discs and rectangular forms a various sizes and colours.
The artist uses a palette of orange and thallo blue, with the addition of earth colours such as browns and dark warm greys. Greens have been also used for some of the forms, giving an overall feel of the natural world, suggesting elements from both earth and water.
The artist has created the impression of layered forms revealed as if viewed in cross section.
The use of the wide horizontal format seems to act to draw the eye of the viewer across the page, inviting the viewer to explore the painting further.

Although more abstract in nature, for me, Kunc’s  work is reminiscent of the work of Gustave Klimt in “ Garden Path with Chickens” (Klimt,G: 1916). In this oil painting, Klimt depicts chickens on a garden path surrounded on each side of the path by an explosive border of flowers which are represented as both representational and abstract rounded forms of varying sizes. When viewing the painting, it appears at once to be both abstract and representative. The artist adds to the sense of perspective in this work by reducing the size of these abstract marks towards the background, leading the viewer up the path.

Fick, B. and Grabowski, B. (2015) Printmaking: A complete guide to materials & process. United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing.
Fliedl, G. (1989) Gustave Klimt. Edited by Rolf Taschen and Marianne Faust. Geneva: Cosmopress.

Klimt, G: (1916). Garden Path with Chickens [Oil on Canvas]
Kunc, K. (2006) Luminous Wonders [Woodcut].