Reduction Printing at the Penland School of Craft

Photograph of lion (and little bird). This was the source for the print. I watched this lion for a good hour one morning. It was a challenging image due to the shadows. Nevertheless, I persisted!

Photograph of lion (and little bird). This was the source for the print. I watched this lion for a good hour one morning. It was a challenging image due to the shadows. Nevertheless, I persisted!

Working with colored pencils and tracing overlays to figure out the colors I will use for the print.

Working with colored pencils and tracing overlays to figure out the colors I will use for the print.

I have now completed the first two colors. I really like the blue of the sky, but I didn’t want a green lion. So, I added a brown color layer I was not intending to use initially.

I have now completed the first two colors. I really like the blue of the sky, but I didn’t want a green lion. So, I added a brown color layer I was not intending to use initially.

There are many aspects of the print which are successful. I do wish I had worked a bit more around the mane giving it more contrast against the texture and colors of the tree. Still, this print will always have a special meaning for me. It reminds me of this great adventure during the Summer of 2017. Additionally, I learned so much about another way to approach reduction printmaking on the letterpress. Thank you Penland School of Craft for making this opportunity possible by offering this great class. Laura Baisden (www.campnevernice.com) is an amazing artist, printmaker, and teacher. I am so fortunate to have had this experience. This may sound a bit hokey, but it changed my life!

I recently studied at the Penland School of Craft in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I took a Reduction Printing on Letterpress class taught by Laura Baisden, an amazing printmaker. The class was entitled ‘No Going Back’. Reduction printing allows for printing multiple colors while using one (or sometimes multiple) linoleum blocks. The first layer serves as a base for other color and image layers. Additionally, the first layer has fewer details. As more layers and colors are added, so too are more details.

I completed a suite of prints which celebrated my journey on the Serengeti in 2017. I am delighted to have completed these prints. Additionally, I am grateful for all that I learned while participating in the class; much new information regarding technique and process. This blog covers the first in the series ‘Nap Time on the Serengeti’.

Pencil drawing used as the ‘foundation’ of the print.

Pencil drawing used as the ‘foundation’ of the print.

I kept some of the green on the tree, leaves, and bird. I actually believe the image is strengthened by the addition of this additional color.

I kept some of the green on the tree, leaves, and bird. I actually believe the image is strengthened by the addition of this additional color.


I used a dark brown for the final color; making this a four color reduction print.

I used a dark brown for the final color; making this a four color reduction print.