Introduction: Linocut Alien Printmaking

Linocut is a design or form carved on a sheet of linoleum. This design can be printed on paper or fabric over and over again.


  • Sheet of linoleum
  • Marker
  • Linocut carving tools
  • Paint / Ink in any color
  • Brayer
  • Palette
  • Fabric / Paper

Step 1: Make Your Design

You may make your design or choose from the internet. Keep in mind that a simple design with high contrast would be the best option.

As an example, I have chosen an "Alien" logo that I found on the internet. To make it easier to draw, ı have printed my design and then pinned it on my sheet so that I can draw the outline real quick.

Step 2: Carve Your Design

There are some important points that you should be careful with;

  • Even though it is pretty easy to carve the sheet, you may scar your fingers if you let your guard down; never put your hands on the direction you are carving.
  • Keep in mind that anything that you do on the sheet will be reversed when you print it. This means that if there is a text on your design, you will need to flip it.
  • Remember that the places you carve will remain blank and the places you didn't carve will be printed.

As you can see I have carved my design and cut the part that would require a lot of effort to carve out with scissors; this is considered as an unprofessional method, but could be used to save time.

Step 3: Paint Your Linoleum Sheet

Now it is time to get your paint/ink, brayer, and palette. Firstly, add the paint on the palette and then roll your brayer over it. You can use any color, and can even make transitions of colors.

Secondly, paint your linoleum sheet; make sure that you paint it uniformly. After that process, the carved parts will remain dry and the remaining parts will be painted.

I have used a mixture of acrylic and gouache to get the best result.

Step 4: Print Your Design

This is the most important part of printmaking and there are some things that you should do in order to enhance the quality of your print. Once you place your form on your paper, apply pressure on it for 1-2 minutes. You may put another piece of paper or book between your hand and the linoleum sheet to do that uniformly. Make sure that you are not dislocating the sheet while doing that. After that remove the sheet carefully without staining the paper. If you are not happy with the result, change your paint or your paper and then try again.

If you are going to print your design on fabric like me, make sure that you have tested it several times on paper, put a piece of paper under the fabric, and learned how to apply pressure. You wouldn't want to waste t-shirts or bags, right?

Step 5: Admire

Congratulations, now you know how to make linocuts!

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