A reduction lino print is a print in more colours taken from only one block. After each print run of a certain colour, the block is ‘reduced’ by cutting away more lino, before the next colour is printed. You could also call this an ‘appearance’ print: the image gradually emerges. The printmaker will need to print the complete limited edition at once, because at the end of the process there is very little left of the lino block, and therefore the print can not be printed again. Normally the lighter colours are printed first, as they can be more easily overplayed with the darker colours.
The ‘reduction print’ is a wonderful lino printing technique. This is how my print ‘Sky Scraping’ was built up in six stages. For this print I used two blocks of matching size: the first one was used to print the sky colour, then the dark tones needed in the sky scraper, and next the lighter glass colour (leaving out the darker lines). The second block was used to shape the trees in the foreground in three tones. Click on the gallery to see the complete images.