In the beginning there was a line. . . .

A recent linocut that I showed in the Omega Printmakers Annual Show at Portsmouth Cathedral 7th-17th July 2012. The site size of the print is 210 x 420mm.

For a painter, the start might be a shape or a field of colour. Some painters work directly, others, like myself, create numerous drawings before committing themselves. I began my journey as an artist with drawing, making lines. I still find it difficult to break away from this and work with huge brushes or simply by pouring the paint directly onto the canvas, before refining accidental shape and tone into something more clearly defined.

Despite doing a Foundation course in art and design (1968-9) I was never really taught to paint – I was taught to draw and it was because of this that I was recommended to persue further studies in graphics, rather than a second year of the Foundation course.  This was followed by a very good course in graphic design, which taught me lots of basic design principles and the craft of layout, typography, printmaking, photography and illustration. I ended up specialising in illustration and in my post graduate year I found my own way of turning line into form. I think it’s an issue of not relinquishing control – painters are very much freer in their approach – traditional illustrators worry too much about the outcome and tend to suffer from a conservative attitude toward making images ! However this is changing and over the last couple of decades illustration has become braver and more painterly.

My paintings usually have some form of pencil or charcoal lines either under the initial washes of colour or over the top of a basic undercoat and as the painting develops I draw over the subsquent areas to define the details.

The relationship of line and form has always fasinated me and will be discussed later but for now the line is all important. My latest series of work is based on architecture, mapping and movement and I have made a start by producing two A3 (297 x 420mm) linocuts. The style of these is influenced on the linear work of printmakers such as Edward Bawden.

I will add to this post later !!


The “Bridge Tavern” and the “Pembroke” reinvented . . .

About chriswoodartist

painter, print-maker and illustrator


  1. I followed you back here after you called on my recent post. Just trawling through but I particularly like your lino cuts. I like the busy-ness of the lower image.

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