Mars, linocut for craft beer label

This is the last one of four commissioned linocuts for a craft beer called Marte by an Italian brewery.

By the client's request, the design has lots of negative space and focuses on the lines and textures. I used a Japanese vinyl as I did for the other prints in this series, and a combination of a Japanese woodcut scalpel and my Pfeil gouges. 

I've been keeping a photo/video journal of the process on my Instagram account; below will be a more detailed step-by-step account.

After I transferred the pencil sketch to the block with transfer paper, I cut it into shape with heavy-duty scissors. 

The Japanese woodcut knife in the background is perfect for clean lines. You get the negative spaces deep so no excessive ink gets rolled on when you print.

I drew on more texture with a permanent marker before carving the details; this way I wouldn't need to stop and think too much when I carved. 

Test printing on some scrap paper - some of the white parts needed to be cleaned out more before making the final edition. 

Made the limited edition of 30 on hosho paper, in a dark red color. The design measures just over 20 x 20 cm and the paper 30 x 30 cm. 

So, that's the print :) You can find it in my shop here and the prints will be dry and ready to ship in a day or two. 

I've started on a new reduction print yesterday - this one will have more colors than any I've made before, and my head is hurting from all the planning. In a weird way this might actually be the part of making a linocut that I enjoy the most... :)