Studio Assignment: Shape and Composition
What is shape? Shape is an area that stands out from the area next to it because of a defined or implied boundary or
because of differences of value, color and texture.
What is composition? The way in which the elements of the visual image are arranged. In this case where you place
and organize your shapes within the design.
HOMEWORK - READ SHAPE CHAPTER P10-22– there will be a quiz ON SEPT 15TH
Assignment- Dealing with issues of positive and negative shape types within a black and white design, you will create a
linocut print that creates and interesting composition within a 5” x 6” rectangle.
Objective- Within this assignment you will gain an understanding of positive and negative shapes types, the use of
shape within a composition and demonstrate a basic understanding of printmaking through the process of creating a
Materials- Sketchbook, sharpie pens, Xerox, blender pen, BFK paper
(Linoleum, cutting tools and printmaking supplies are provided)
WED Shape discussion, project description, print shop demo. Homework- Read shape chapter for
Sept 8 next class
Design black and white image for next
MON Find partners, prepare paper, finish design, transfer
Sept 13 onto Lino, begin cutting process. No prof in class
WED CUTTING + PRINTING
Sept 15 QUIZ
WED Project due for critique AT BEGINNING OF CLASS
A linoleum print is made by carving the positive space (the white parts) out of a piece of linoleum and rolling it up
with ink. The raised areas of the linoleum will appear black and the gauged out parts will remain white.
Step 1 Designing your print
Create 5”x6” rectangles in your sketchbook. Working with a sharpie pen create an interesting shape composition. Keep
the design simple and bold, as tiny details are hard to cut into the linoleum.
Subject matter or inspiration is completely up to you, you could work from reality, imagination or copy a photographic
Step 2- Transferring your Design onto the Lino
Before you start cutting you will need to transfer your design to the lino. It will be a mirror image on the lino so
that it will print the right way onto the paper.
I will demonstrate the transferring process.
Step 3- Cutting the linoleum
Cut away all the white areas of your design, be careful of the sharp tools! Keep all mess off the floor.
Step 4 – Proofing
Before you go for your final printing on the BFK paper, check that the design is as you would like it by making a test
print, called a proof, make any changes that are necessary.
Step 5 – Make your final prints
Working in pairs prepare all your paper by cutting to size, ink up your design, and print. This process will be
demonstrated, take notes!! All final prints should be clean and registered.
Step 6- Clean up the mess
Always follow the instructions for clean up, automatic fail for this project for those failing to clean up!!!
Step 7- Number, Title, Sign and Date your prints
Traditionally each print needs this information to be written along the bottom edge in pencil to be considered
Linoleum Print Demo Handout
Linoleum is made from a mixture of linseed oil, resin
and powdered cork on a backing of burlap or hard mounting—or sometimes it is
made of rubber plastic with no backing.
A 5”x 6” piece of unmounted linoleum will be provided for this project.
-Linoleum gouges are most useful, they come in a variety of shapes.
-A soft rubber brayer is used to ink the linoleum.
-A caulk gun is used to dispense the ink, a spatula for mixing
-A machine called an etching press is used to make an impression from
the inked linoleum.
-Cut at an angle and push tool points away from yourself
-To extract material with the knife tool, cut at opposing angle to first cut
and peel out the material
-If cutting is too difficult, heat linoleum slightly with hair dryer
-Use a wooden cradle to support the linoleum as your work
-Always cut with your hands out of the way of the tools!
IV. Transferring Your Design
-Using a light table, trace over the back of your drawing with a
soft pencil or conte crayon.
-Place this side face down on the plate, and trace over it again, applying
pressure so the design will transfer.
-Your image will be transferred backwards, and your final print
will be oriented as the original drawing.
-Place a Xerox of your design facedown on your plate. Run the blender
pen over it and apply pressure with a bonefolder.
-Linoleum squares are printed on the etching press.
-Registration marks will be present on the etching bed.
-Pressure will be set for you.
-Keep fingers out of the press!
-Modify ink with a drop of burnt plate oil and mix with spatula.
-From the ink reservoir, roll out an even slab of ink.
-Roll lightly and from different directions over the plate.
-Always run a proof on newsprint before moving to BFK paper!
VI. Clean up
-Scrape up excess ink with spatula, rub onto phone book
-Use the green spray provided to clean the rubber roller and glass
-Use the paper towel to wipe.
-Run under tap and wipe everything including glass with water.
-Put all the other supplies away
• Artists to research for relief printing
Studio Foundations, Thursday, February 23, 2012