Valentine’s Linocut

Over the weekend, myself and my little one made some Valentine’s cards for Daddy. I decided to try the harder grey lino that came with my new Essdee lino printing kit. See my older blogs where I start experimenting with it

Lino printing 1st attempt

Linoprint plant design

Valentine’s day is the perfect excuse to make a new lino cut. We have a border collie (Tess) so I thought it would be nice if she featured in this expression of family love!

Tess at the Singing Sands at Ardnamurchan, Scotland

I’m not quite at the standard of doing a linocut from a real photo yet so I found a nice picture of a border collie sitting and printed it out. I added the balloon and hearts and then traced the design onto the lino and started cutting.


I had been put off the real grey lino as it seemed so hard and I was struggling to hold the Softcut. I was pleasantly surprised though. While the Softcut piece required less effort to cut, that means it’s also easier to make mistakes. It is also easier to finish a cut with the real lino as it snaps when you stop a cut.

It took me a couple of hours to cut the lino for this design, spread over two days and I have to admit that my arm and fingers were quite achy afterwards due to level of grip needed to stop it slipping. This is because I was working on a smooth surface and didn’t have a bench hook to push against (note to self – buy a rubber mat and bench hook!).

I quite like to see the cut marks in the print so I was quite rough in cutting the surrounds. I really struggled with the hearts in the balloon as I found the smallest tool too fine and the next one too big. Unfortunately I found that I did have a better tool that is made for doing lines but I’d already finished it by then.


By this point my little one decided she wanted a piece of the action so we used the unused edge of the lino to do some simple heart designs.


Using printing ink Essdee (bought separately), we did a couple of pure red prints and then made pink and purple too.



All in all we had a great time printing!



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