by TeacherLem Iglesias

Linocut printing is a fun activity to do but also very challenging. Since it involves the use of sharp carving tools (we call them gouges), its not recommended for very young kids. Students from Upper Primary (Primary 5 to Primary 6) and Secondary students would be the best group to learn this art technique.


Samples Created by: Primary 6L and 6J

Age: 10-11 years old


  • Black Marker
  • Linoleum Tile – 5″ x 7″
  • Set of Gouges
  • A5 Strathmore or Bristol Paper
  • Paint Roller
  • Black Ink
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Press for Lino cut
  • Or any material for pressing


Our “artist inspiration” for this activity is an obvious choice: The print master himself– M.C. Escher (see slide below). We discussed a brief background about him: what “MC” stands for; where he’s from; what he’s known for and his final years.

MC Escher

We also talked about one of his famous work: “Metamorphosis II” (see slide below). I asked the students to identify the images on the print and highlighted how Escher was able to “morph” them into a single, seamless design. We also discussed some words to add to their “art vocabulary”. (Note, Atrani, Italy is the town illustrated at the right side of the masterpiece).

Metamorphosis II

Afterwards, I showed them rare a video of M.C Escher working on one of his prints, which ‘wowed’ them. When they were all ready and inspired, I asked them to draw thumbnail designs for their lino tile.

CLICK>> THIS LINK for the M.C. Escher Video

CLICK>> THIS LINK to learn about making thumbnails.


STEP 1: From Paper to Lino Tile

Once the drawing (designs) are done, they were asked to transfer their best design on a lino tile measuring 5″ x 7″ using a pencil and then finalising the lines and shades using a black marker.

STEP 2: Carve and Cut

Before cutting and carving, the students were given a set of rules and procedures to follow during the activity to minimise the occurrence of mistakes and untoward incidents (like getting cut by the gouges). They were given an idea about possible problems they will encounter and the possible solutions to these challenges. The rest they would have to discover and solve themselves (see slides below).

Lino Print_Procedure

Lino Print_Problems_Solutions

To further caution them about the importance of being CAREFUL in this part of the procedure I showed them this very funny video called “The Expert”.  CLICK >> THIS LINK .

They will sure get the idea of “safety first” after watching that video 🙂

They were also advised to carve the lines first and leave the shapes for last, since it involves a lot more effort. It’s always a good idea to start with the easiest procedure for them to build confidence and discover the appropriate carving techniques at the same time.

After all these extensive reminders about safety, they were finally allowed to cut/carve the lino tiles.


STEP 3: Roll, Press and Peel

Pour the right amount of paint (or ink) on a smooth and even surface. Allow the paint roller to absorb enough paint (or ink) by going over the paint/ink several times.

Apply the paint/ink on the lino tile using the paint roller. Remind the students to make sure to apply paint/ink on the edges of the tile since oftentimes they miss this area.

paint roller

Place the lino tile on a piece of paper (bristol or strathmore cardboard is prefered for this activity) while making sure the tile is at the centre of the paper.

Turn it over. The paper should be on top of the lino tile.

Get a press (or any cylindrical, heavy object; for small prints sometimes a spoon will do)  to roll over the paper and the lino tile. This will allow the paint/ink design to transfer to the paper.

Peel the paper off the tile carefully.

*Note that the printed design will always come out in reverse.

For a QUICK video review of the procedures above CLICK >> THIS LINK.


See our blog post about EXHIBITION, PRESENTATION AND EVALUATION (please create a specific criteria for this project) >> CLICK THIS LINK.


The left side of the photo below shows the lino tile after carving/cutting; the right side is the print on paper using paint/ink.





Thanks for the VIDEOS …

Justin Pounds— https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMex8qycajlRR3NUnma6VsQ

Alphoso Dunn— https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoBapgfK_m6G7airg1rdn8w

Snake Artist— https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Ny0snsah0B_7qBX2QzNhA

Abeniabla— https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjKWaa3Dt0hnPr-VlJ1BUBA

Thanks for the PHOTOS…

MC Escher and “Metamorphosis II” — http://www.corriere.it/gallery/cultura/08-2010/bianco-nero/1/fotogallery-corriere-sera_d6d4b694-b4e6-11df-8e04-00144f02aabe.shtml#7

More PHOTOS… CLICK THIS LINK>>  https://instagram.com/teacherlem/

I hope you and your kids will have as much fun as we did with this project.

See you next Saturday    🙂


4 thoughts on “Linocut Printing by Primary 6

  1. Pingback: Primary 5 Paper Cup Design | teacher lem's art class

  2. Pingback: Linocut Art Workshop for Teachers | teacher lem's art class

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