Project 4 – Black & White Lino Cut

Story Line

My story is about a beautiful fish living in a pond where she can see the birds in the sky flying freely. There is always this bird that flies pass the pond everyday, and it didn’t take long for this beautiful fish to admire the bird. She fell in love with the bird, and as the bird noticed her admiration towards him, he started to talk to her. The fish was elated, but she didn’t know that the bird had other intentions. One day, the bird lured his admirer to the shallower part of the pond and gobbled up the poor fish before flying away, feeling satisfied with his meal.




It was the first time I tried lino cutting, using the different cutting knives to carve on rubber pads. To explore with different textures the lino cutter can bring, I tried out the various cutting knives available. There were actually only 2 kinds of cutter that was easier to use. the small V shape cutter helps with small details and creates nice straight textures. It is the most easy to control cutter. The second is the small U shape cutter, which gives very pleasant curve textures to it. It is these 2 cutters that I find relevant for my art piece I have in mind (to create the wind and water textures).

Frame One


This frame shows the fish swimming in the pond. I wanted the background to be white at first, and the fish white too, but I made a mistake in the cutting of the lino pad. I tested it out and realised that the inverted looks good as well. I positioned the fish to be in a circle, as water ripples of the pond is curved, thus it will be better for the fish to be positioned in a circle rather than a fish swimming straight. I played with the different textures for the fish and the background.

Firstly, the fish’s textures. The scales were meant to be emptied out and be white, but I thought maybe leaving some stray marks on the scales would have an unintended textures. Luckily, it turned out well. I also added some textures on the tail and the fins of the fish, to show the fishtail marks.

As for the background, I use the V-shaped and U-shaped cutters to do the ripples of the water. Nearer to the fish, there will be more intense ripples (more curvy), and further away the ripples are straighter. All these help to create textures of the pond water.

Frame Two


This frame shows the bird flying away happily after eating the poor fish. During planning I already wanted to make the texture of the air (the wind), and thus I figured that I shouldn’t add much details to the bird otherwise the whole frame will be very messy. That’s why I left the bird black. I used the one-third rule for this composition. The grass occupied one-third of the plane and the bird occupying the rest of it so as to put the emphasis on the bird. Similarly, I used the┬áV-shaped and U-shaped cutters to portray how the bird is soaring in the wind.


I realised that certain mistakes can actually give unexpected results. It is good to make do with what we have, even if there are mistakes. Imperfection may just be the perfect touch to the piece.

Some progress shots:



Author: Jolene Tan

NTU IEM Y3. Simply me.

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