Combination Prints – Running Boy



For the next set of prints, I used another sketch from my India sketchbook. Bearing in mind that I had felt I needed to leave more space for the monoprint to play its part in the overall print design, I kept the lino cut very simple.

boy sketch

The initial print worked nicely as it was, but I decided to cut more of the boys’ clothes away to allow space for more detail on the monoprint. I inked the plate quite heavily for these prints in order to show the cutting marks in the negative space. I have been looking at the prints of Holly Meade, and love the energy around her characters created by the cutting lines. The boy in my sketch was full of excitement, and running unbounded, which I wanted to convey in the prints.

boy print 1

Boy print 2


My initial print was painted with a brush, and the clothing was drawn into with a cocktail stick. The colours were influenced by the warm light of India, with a suitable contrasting violet. I chose to have the monoprint extend the frame, to represent the uncontainable energy of the child. The halo around the figure was reminiscent of the Ready Brek adverts of my youth, but the brush marks have the unfortunate effect of looking more like fire.

mono boy 1

As the sketch was made in a block printing village, I thought it would be interesting to see how block printing onto the plate as a background to the figure would work. I reversed the colours which seems to have worked well. I used the violet ink quite thickly to ensure a clear print from block to glass. This meant that the pattern was distorted in places, but I thought this was a success with the cutting marks over the top. It is a little messy at the edges but the registration is good.

mono boy 2


I then used the same block in a different way, using it as a tool for manipulating ink rolled directed onto the plate. I wanted to explore extending marks beyond the plate again, but I wish that I had been more careful about maintaining a horizontal upper border. The marks to the right are really nice, but the wayward upper line is a distraction which ruins it for me.

mono boy 3

In this final print, I looked again at extending borders in a more extreme way, by setting the print in a much larger monoprint. I back drew the monoprint on a plate inked in violet, ochre and terracotta, and overprinted in violet. I kept the backdrawing sketch loose in character, and linked the forms in a pattern repeat that revealed more interesting shapes and relationships. It looks like a time-lapse of the boy running, and the lino print in violet over the terracotta makes the lines appear looser and more energetic.

mono boy 5

I am a little concerned that although I have demonstrated some good ideas and my registration is competent, all my prints are more of a sketch quality than a final polished print. Time as always is against me, and my deadline has gone out of the window. I actually completed these prints two months ago, but have struggled with recording everything formally. I have deferred to the November assessment, but it is still a struggle to keep momentum going.


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