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. 

New scissors working like a charm This is the last one of the four small linocuts for beer labels at an Italian craft brewery. #linosnitt #linoleum #grafik #printmaking #stockholm #swedishdesign #sweden #lidingö #konst #konstnär #artistsoninstagram #pfeil #carving #handmade #illustration #planet #mars #space #satellite #universe #stars

A video posted by Tian Gan (@ttyr) on

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.

Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan

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. 

Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan

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

Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan

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. 

Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan

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... :)

Mars, original handmade linocut by Tian Gan  


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