28 Sep 2010

The Most Dangerous Animal in the World – process blog

Process / Tutorial, Shirts For Sale 4 Comments

One of my designs that’s caused the most curiosity is “The Most Dangerous Animal in the World“, as I used linocut process to create the design – an art form that’s not terribly prevalent in the t-shirt design community.

Specifically for this design, I’m working with with a linocut process that involves carving out an image then blockprinting it. For the subject I’ve chosen “The Most Dangerous Animal in the World”, which is of course a Grizzly Bear on a Motorcycle carrying a Great White Shark with a Laser on its head. Naturally.

Here's my initial sketch.

Priming lino substrate with gesso

Initial drawing scanned in and flipped, then transferred onto lino using carbon paper

After transferring the initial sketch, I marked it up with a Sharpie to show the dark areas of the print.

Carving, carving and more carving. Incidentally, yes, those little red bits are blood. Carving tools are incredibly sharp, as it turns out.

I'll also be printing this as a limited edition blockprint, so I decided to add in a background.

Final carving!

A friend of mine works at a traditional print shop and has access to blockprinting equipment and offered to lend a hand.  When I got to the print shop I realiezed that I had left my camera, and had to take some photos with my phone, so excuse the quality. Also, I wish I could have taken more shots, but I was actually printing most of the time, and my hands were pretty well inked up.

Ok, so here's the basic print setup with the lino plate and paper on the press

This is the ink we were using

To get a smooth coat of ink on the roller, first you spread some on a sheet of glass


After rolling ink onto the 'plate', you center it on the press bed, lay your paper on top, along with a press board, and run it through

Then continue to roll it out back and forth until there are no streaks or dead spots - this means the roller is evenly coated with ink

My phone freaked out with the grid pattern in the background of this shot, but here's one of the early prints. The weird stripes are from my phone's wonky camera, and not on the actual print.

After a couple of test runs, we tried more ink and got a stronger print, but by then my hand were too dirty to take a picture, but here's a scan of the final print.

I’ll use the full plate to print a limited run of prints, but for the t-shirt, I extracted the central characters from the background and removed the border to make it more of a shirt-friendly design. Here’s the final shirt, which is available now through my shop: http://shop.ianleino.com hand-screened on American Apparel shirts for $18.

The final printed shirt

So there it is! Linocut process from start to front. I lost track of time, but imagine that after I had the design worked out, it took around 20-30 hours of carving the linocut and then a few more hours to set up and print the actual image. Thanks for taking a look, and if you’d like to wear one of these yourself get over to my shop to pick one up!

4 Responses to “The Most Dangerous Animal in the World – process blog”

  1. Brandon says:

    Deff would like this shirt

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  3. Kathee says:

    Fantastic bit of drawing, great to see the process of your lino cut work really well documented.

  4. Georgia Jewell says:

    Dr Evil would be sooooo proud.

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