color linoleum cut, reduction technique

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cross-section of a linoleum block inked in yellow before proofing

The reduction technique of relief printmaking uses one block to print all of the colors. (Color printing usually requires a separate block for each color.)  The key to planning a reduction print is remembering that all of the colors in the final image are printed on top of all the colors that were printed previously. Think about the colors as layers.

As the layers of colors build up on the image, the linoleum surface is “reduced”, or removed with the cutting tool.  The next pages show how this process was used to create a 6 color print. (7 colors if you count the white of the paper.)