Someone once said that dots linocut is made by extracting the light from darkness, and it is indeed a very accurate description. When viewing graphics made by this technique, it can seem that the visible elements are coming out from the shadows.

 

Karol Pomykała, dots linocut, “Changes I”, size 80 x 120 cm, created in 2012.

What Exactly is dots linocut?

Normally a linocut is associated with a very simple, black and white drawing where the lines are thick and the drawing is very simplified. However,  dots linocut completely contradicts these associations. Unlike traditional linocut, dots linocut is more complicated and time-consuming, requiring the creator to be committed, patient and imaginatative . The artists spend many weeks, even months, before they finish their master piece.

Dots linocut gives you stunning visual effects that are original and unique. The dots linocut is created in the same way as a traditional linocut, except that it consists of hundreds of small dots that blend together and when viewing it from a certain distance give the impression of soft tonal gradations. The design of this type of graphic is based on a combination of the different size dots and how far or close they are placed together. Dots that are closly positioned together give off the impression of a bright gray effect, and setting them further apart at larger intervals gives the impression of a darker gray. From a creative point of view, this method offers huge range possibilities. Below you will see the work which imitates realistic photos.

 

I have always  been drawn to the illusion found in dots linocut graphics. When we stand close to the graphic, we can see hundreds of white points, but when we step away from the work, we will see how these white dots merge into a new visual experience. This effect is truly amazing, and I encourage anyone who has the possibility of going to the linocut exhibition, to observe the work not only from a distance, but also close up and at varying distances. 

The Background of Dots Linocut.

The story of linocut began in the first decade of the 20th century and stems directly from the oldest graphic technology of woodcuting, and links back to the invention of linoleum. However, dots linocut is considered to be a Polish discovery, and the artist who created and improved this technique was Józef Gielniak. For almost 70 years, the dots linocut has been used and improved upon by Polish artists of both the older and younger generations. Despite the complexity and some difficulty in creating it, more and more artists have decided to create graphics using  this technique.

 

Jozef Gielniak, dots linocut, “Improvisation for Grazynka III”, size 16,2 x 21 cm, created in 1965.

Masters of Dots Linocut.

Dots linocut is firmly linked to the Lublin graphics area, where many great artists use this technique . The group includes Krzysztof Szymanowicz, Grzegorz Mazurek, Stanisław Bałdyga. I also come from this area, and I am lucky that I personally know all these artists and I have the ability admire their works in person, and study  about dots linocut under their supervision.

Krzysztof Szymanowicz, dots linocut , “Souvenirs XVI”, size 90 x 60 cm, created in 2009 r.

Grzegorz Mazurek, dots linocut, “All my friends XII”, size 80 x 60 cm, created 1993 r.

Bałdyga Stanisław, dots linocut, “Spaces VII”, size 70 x 49 cm, created in 2003 r.

Krzysztof Szymanowicz, dots linocut, “Roll of Wiesi”, size10 x 7,5 cm, created in 1997 r.

Grzegorz Mazurek, dots linocut, “All my friends XV”, size 80 x 60 cm, created in 1994 r.

Bałdyga Stanisław, dots linocut, “Spaces IV”, size 70 x 49,5 cm, created in 1999 r.

Lublin became a recognized center due to the generational traditions of dots linocut, but we can find othere amazing artists continuing this extraordinary technique outside of Lublin.  Some of the masters of this technique include Leszek Kiljanski, Joanna Piech, Magdalena Szplit and Henryk Królikowski. And the younger generation of artists  create their own extraordinary works on the basis of this tradition are: Marta Lech, Agata Gertchen, Olena Gaidamak and Anna Gawlikowska. Of course, the full list of artists making dots linocut is much longer, but I decided to present those artists who I know personally and whose works I have had the pleasure to seeing.

The artistic achievements of these artists are significant and appreciated worldwide, as evidenced by countless artistic awards at international art competitions.

Leszek Kiljanski, dots linocut, “Face topography”, size 17 x 13 cm, created in 1989 r.

Joanna Piech, dots linocut, “I know everything”, size 157 x 90 cm, created in 2009

Magdalena Szplit, dots linocut, “Alter ego III”, size 86 x 73,5 cm, created in 2013 r.

Henryk Krolikowski, dots linocut, “without title”, size 74 x 131 cm, created in 2005 r.

Marta Lech, dots linocut, “21.09”, size 62 x 90 cm, created in 2012 r.

Agata Gertchen, dots linocut, “Unbridled 05”, size140 x 100 cm, created in 2013 r.

Olena Gaidamaka, dots linocut, “Shapes of feelings. Lite”, size 75,5 x 55,5 cm, created in 2009 r.

Anna Gawlikowska, dots linocut , “Paper dreams”, size 37 x 35 cm, created in2017 r.

Leszek Kiljanski, dots linocut, “Face topography”, size 25 x 25 cm, created in 1996 r.

Joanna Piech, dots linocut, “Time for a walk”, size 157 x 90 cm, created in 2009 r.

Magdalena Szplit, dots linocut, “Identity I”, size 104 × 70 cm, created in 2016 r.

Henryk Krolikowski, dots linocut, “without title”, size 74 x 131 cm, created in 2005 r.

Marta Lech, dots linocut,”07.08″, size 100 x 70 cm, created in 2015 r.

Agata Gertchen, dots linocut, “Unbridled 07”, size 145 x 100 cm, created in 2015 r.

Olena Gaidamaka, dots linocut, “Shapes of feelings. Eros”, size 75,5 x 55,5 cm, created in 2009 r.

Anna Gawlikowska, dots linocut, “On a moonlit night”, size 36,5 x 35,5 cm, created in 2018 r.

You can see some of the works of the listed artists here, but no photo will be able to fully show the finesse of the workpiece. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to see the works of these artists in person, don’t overthink it too much and visit a gallery or museum. I am convinced that this will change your view on linocut, like it changed mine in 2006, during the exhibition by Krzysztof Szymanowski in a gallery in Lublin.

How to Start Creating Dots Linocut.

In order to begin your adventure with a dots linocut, you need the right tools and linoleum. The most important of these is linoleum, which must be both hard and flexible enough. I go into detail and describe more on this topic of the matrix in my e-book about linocut and matrices, that you can download HERE.

For many years, I have been using synthetic linoleum for my work, which I think is the best for making dots linocut. You can buy it in different formats in my store HERE.

Another important element, without which it is difficult to create dots linocut is a dot chisel. Most artists who make dots linocut are producing dot-hole tools themselves. Similarly, I have been experimneting and making tools for many years, and I have been looking for the best one that allows me to make this kind of art. That’s how the DOT TOOL- a dot chisel had been created and it is the tool I personaly use to make my dots linocuts.

Many creators from all over the world world have writen to me about this Dot-tool, which is why I decided to share it with others. The Dot-tool I designed can be purchased from my online store HERE so you can start creating your own dots linocut creations right away!

In shop, you will find two chisels with a metal handle and a wooden handle. The chisel with the metal handle is smaller, but a few grams heavier than the wooden one so if you prefer a heavier tool this chisel will be perfect. I personally alternately the chisels while I work, so my hand does not tired out quickly.

When you have all the materials and tools, you need to embrace yourself with a little bit of patience and start practicing to start make amazing dots linocuts.

All DOT-best !

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