Tag Archives: Linocuts

Waratah Tryptich – A Fine Art Linocut

8 Waratah Tryptich - Limited Edition Handcoloured Linocut 1

Well anyone who has followed me on this blog for a while will know I LOVE Waratahs.


There is such a majesty & structural quality to these particular Australian wildflowers not withstanding their bright red colouring with deep green leaves & the fact the flowers occur on long stems coming up from the ground. They really can be ‘seen from afar’ as their name means.

For a while now I have planned to do a Tryptich design using waratahs as a kind of companion print for my Flannel Flower Tryptich. This particular print was a commission for someone as a gift for his wife’s birthday. Did I mention I also LOVE flannel flowers too?

Flannel Flower Tryptich

Last year after my shoulder surgery I found it really difficult to work at all for a few months which was most frustrating! I knew I had to slowly get back so I started with thinking through ideas for new designs & taking some photos.

Eventually I was able to at least draw so one of the first artworks I started on was my Waratah Triptych.

I already knew I wanted to make it into a triptych & I had taken some photos pf both red and white waratahs over the years so decided to incorporate both into this design.

1 Waratah Tryptich - White Waratahs 1 WEB 4

I worked as I usually do. First with the framework for the design, then trawling through the hundreds of images I have of waratahs and finding suitable ones for this particular artwork. This process is interesting for me as I gradually reduce the amount of images I want to work with so I refine the vision I have for this work. I ask questions like – is my point of view from below or above? do I want to abstract any of the images or stay more true to for? How simple do I want the work to be visually? How much black do I want to incorporate? DO I really want to keep the defining structure I started with or would I prefer to break out and change it a little? or a lot?

Eventually I end up with a series of images which I will use as the basis of the work. I then start the drawing.

SKETCHBOOK - Flannel Flower & Waratah Trytiches WEB

Drawing is a process I love and have always loved. I feel that all artists no matter their medium of choice a strong skill base in drawing will always hold them in good stead. It teaches you to look more closely and especially in my case where I like the get the wildflowers I use botanically correct. Even if in the carving of the wildflowers compromise is made as to how they are depicted due to the process of carving lino, I know that they have started as botanically correct.

These are the final drawings of the three panels of the triptych.

DRAWINGS - Waratah Trytich WEB

When it comes to working the drawings into designs that can be carved I again work through creating black and white inked versions. This refines my designs and allows me to experiment with what I think I may be able to carve. These days after having to have shoulder surgery, I really value the ability to still be able to carve my linocuts so I guess for me if I have a clear template of what I want to carve it means I will hopefully will be able to a long time into the future.

Waratah Tryptich DEsign 5

I then transfer these final designs onto the lino ready to carve.

I must say after initially deciding to start small when starting back carving I just could not resist getting stuck into these three larger panels! It was weeks of carving and I must say did challenge my shoulder’s capacity to comply & caused a bit of pain. But I do have the most wonderful masseuse and physiotherapist who both help keep me on the straight and narrow & take away the pain!

And to printing!

For this particular design I decided to just do a colour rough using photoshop just to get an idea of the balance of the colour before handcolouring.

Finally I get to print the designs and then handcolour them! Finally I get to see the original concept from a few years ago actually come to fruition. I am really pleased with the results.

Lynette WEir - Waratahs Tryptich - June 2013 WEB

Here is a little video about the whole process from inspiration to Fine Art Linocut.


Linocuts…in the studio today…

Today I have been working on the fourth of a series of about 12 linocuts.

This is a brown lino – not sure of its name – it carves easily but it can crumble more around the edges which can be frustrating. I had always used the grey silkcut lino but they kept changing the ‘formula’ over past years and I was very unhappy with it.

However, I used the latest ‘back to grey again’ silkcut for the New Zealand Wildflowers and was very happy with it again. Hopefully they’ll stick with this current formula!

I usually buy the lino in 1 metre lengths as it is certainly the most economical. The only downside is that if left for long periods there is a natural loss linseed oil used within the lino which can cause it to get really hard and for me with my RSI issues un-carvable.

One of the things I really like about the way I work is that I can navigate from the different processes or stages of several designs at once. This allows me to continue to work to work to better manage issues with RSI – and keeps you thinking!

I had finished carving the other 3 in previous weeks…


Copyright – Lynette Weir

Final Print Processes – New Zealand Wildflowers

This is an image of the first print off the block. The next step is waiting for it to dry and then handcolouring. I use an oil based ink to print the black which can take a few days to dry depending on the weather. I then do a sample handcoloured print working out exact colours – within the designing process I had already made the major decisions about the general colours I would use so it is a refining process at this stage. I usually mark on this ‘master’ the names and sample of all the colours I use for each flower/foliage.

This is quite a complicated design and very ‘busy’ – combinations of flowers, foliage and colour are quite complex – hopefully it will all work!!

So now I will wait for the ink to dry……..

Copyright – Lynette Weir