Wow. Is that a pencil?


Lino tool
Ink roller
Lino printing press

How right you are! Yes, I admit that it seems a little obvious. But as this is my bread and butter tool I could hardly leave it out. I prefer softer pencils for sketching - 2B up to 6B.

Next up is the lino cutting tool. There are several different sizes available. For removing larger areas I have a wider bladed, shallow, U-shaped tool and for the detail work I swap this for a much finer V shaped one. The handle is wooden and mushroom headed to allow a comfortable, firm and controllable push into the material.

The roller is used to apply an even ink coating directly onto the finished cut lino. The key to this process is to ink very carefully and lightly so that the detailed areas do not fill in.

The press itself is very simple and although finessed a bit has remained relatively unaltered since low run printing was first developed in the middle-ages. The handle is gently rotated like a corkscrew to bring the paper and lino block together to make a print.

For the addition of colour I use water based paint as this is non-opaque and allows the bold lines of the lino print to remain intact. Again, a wider brush for the background wash and a selection of finer bristles for adding detail and highlights.

Richard Jarvis Wildlife Artist