I had this idea for a lino print… and then realised I didn’t really know what magpies looked like. I ended up drawing directly onto the lino, which worked fine. What was truly tricky was getting the branches to look interesting, without being overwhelming. Who’d have thought it?
When it came to cutting, I had a brainwave to make the cuts radiate out from the centre of the picture, and the effect gives it a more graphic feel in my eyes. It made it harder to work around the branches, but equally produced an interesting effect on them.
I like this one, even with its shortcomings, such as the fact that I haven’t achieved a good, solid black in the print – it was done using the spoon rubbing technique and Caligo Safewash. With this in mind, when I’m more familiar with the inks, paper and pressure required to get a good print, I’ll come back to it.