Behind the print: "Beneath the Woods"

Jennifer Jokhoo explains how she made her reduction linocut "Beneath the Woods", which is on show at our "Greenwich Printmakers at 40" exhibition at Watts Contemporary Gallery.


"Beneath the Woods", reduction linocut, Jennifer Jokhoo

Jennifer Jokhoo with her press.

"Beneath the woods" is an eight-colour reduction linocut. Reduction linocut is a method where the same block of lino is cut away as each layer of colour is printed, rather than using different lino blocks for each colour. It's an unforgiving method because once each colour layer is cut, you can't go back and change anything or print any more if there are mistakes, so it requires a lot of thought about how to handle each layer.


"Beneath the woods" was created using traditional lino, printed in Intaglio oil-based inks onto Fabiano Rosaspina paper using a Hunter Penrose etching press.


Printing the third layer of colour.

The print evolved from sketches and photos taken one late summer afternoon at Frensham pond near Farnham. Dappled light filtered through the Scot pines while families picnicked on the sandy shoreline. The pines were so perfectly vertical and orderly, creating elongated shadows. The scene was graphic in itself – with defining lines and contrasts. It almost begged to be made into a reduction linocut print!


This piece relates to my practice as I enjoy depicting the ever-changing effects of light and colour at different times of the day, and seasonal change. I am fortunate to live in the Surrey hills and subject matter is often discovered whilst out walking the dog. Hillside views, fields, wide skies and horizontal bands are elements that I seek to explore in my work.


The first layer of colour. Jennifer has cut away all the areas she wants to keep white and then inked up the block in yellow ink and printed it.

The second colour layer. Everything that Jennifer wants to keep yellow (the first colour layer) has been cut away from the block, and the next colour has been printed.

The third colour layer. Jennifer has cut away the areas she wants to keep light peach before inking the block up in the dark peach.

The fourth colour layer. Jennifer has cut away all the areas she wants to keep dark peach and has selectively inked the blue area.

The fifth layer. Jennifer has cut away the blue areas and selectively inked the leaves on the trees and the shadows on the ground.

The sixth layer. Jennifer has selectively inked the trees in a dark green after cutting away the elements she wants to be light green to add depth to the leaves.

Inking up the seventh layer. This is the final layer and will complete the print. You can see the different areas that have been cut away from the lino block.

The finished print, "Beneath the Woods".

"Greenwich Printmakers at 40" is a celebration of Greenwich Printmakers' 40th anniversary and runs at Watts Contemporary Gallery in Compton, Surrey, until September 1.