Designing a charity Christmas Card for
Made in Greenwich and GCDA

Here is a sneak peak into the process of designing a fundraising Christmas Card for Made in Greenwich, part of GCDA (Greenwich Cooperative Development Agency). I came up with 'Winter in Greenwich Park' a three colour linocut print showing red deer in the snow in front of a local landmark, the Royal Observatory. Sales of this card and another featuring a lovely watercolour portraying the Made in Greenwich shop front by local artist Maria Zvaric together raised funds to provide 600 meals for vulnerable people in Greenwich over winter 2020-2021. 

planning the composition_edited
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Planning the colours_edited
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carved lino block for printing in red in
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Flamstead House cut from lino_edited
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Key block ready to print black_edited
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Proof print of the red and black blocks_
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Proof print with the blue block added_ed
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Prints from all three of the lino blocks
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Charity Christmas card featuring Ellen Strachan from Pigeon loft Prints' linocut 'Winter in Greenwic
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Printmaking Process

Winter in Greenwich Park was a linocut print created with three different lino blocks. You can see the process in the picture gallery above. The first step was to decide on the composition. As the card was for Made in Greenwich, I wanted it to include a Greenwich landmark and I chose the Royal Observatory Greenwich- a place of fond memories for me as I moved to London for my first 'proper' job as an Education Officer there! My research showed me that the deer in Greenwich Park, now confined to the 'Wilderness' area, were once free to roam the entire park, so probably did stand on the slope of Observatory Hill in the snow at some time in the past. I like to draw out the elements of my design, cut them out and move them around until I am happy. I shaded the sketch with coloured pencil to plan out the colours I would use. I planned to use red, a gradient from light to mid blue and a layer of black or navy printed on a white background. Tracing paper was used to transfer the design to the lino blocks. I used grey lino which can be cut easily without heating and my trusty Pfeil tools. To get a sense of how the print was looking at each stage, I made quick proof prints with Tsukineko Versafine print pads. When the cutting was complete and I was ready to print, I rolled out a water-washable oil-based ink, inked up the blocks and printed each one onto a separate sheet of paper, rubbing the back of the paper with a wooden spoon. Because I wanted to create a digital version of the image, I printed all of the blocks in black. This allowed me to scan each image as a black and white bitmap so that it was easy to select and delete the white areas and apply colour to the printed areas before combining all of the layers in a graphics programme to create the finished Christmas card design.