My Whitstable show is coming at the end of May and I’ve been checking out what I have ready-framed in my cabin. My ‘I love Whitstable’ linocut was one such discovery and I only touched on it last year, so here’s ‘the making of’ this print, a work-in-progress preamble. I started with a permanent pen sketch of the idea. Whitstable is famous for its oysters and is known as Oystertown. So, adapting the familiar ‘I (heart) New York’ style, I replaced the ‘I’ with a bottle of Tabasco sauce which it is served with at the Fish Market in the harbour. The heart too, is represented by two overlapping oysters, the scene Whitstable’s pebbly beach and flanking groynes. Wishing to keep colours to a minimum, I used a limited colour palette. Here I’m adding colours to the sketch at least, in watercolour, sometimes I use bleedproof professional (Magic) marker pens or Pantone Pens. I also at this point see if I can use graduated colours, such as the pebbles colour, the small swatch of colour shown outside the image to the right. A graduated colour from a dark hue to light is very effective when it comes to a linocut, not to say economical with colours that one has available. Such colours are easily blended too on the ink roller itself thus you can achieve drama with just one ‘pass’ of the roller. Once I’m happy with the colours I produce a tighter pencil drawing to the right format and scale, bearing in mind the size of the piece and understanding that fine details just aren’t going to happen if the size is small.