Limited Edition Linocut Owl Print - Process

So I started with the concept of an owl. But I wanted it to not just be your typical owl, standing or flying in its natural sense. I wanted to experiment with unnatural or 'grotesque' exaggerated form. I looked at various images and drew upon the swirling, twisting nature of wind and the sky. To the left are some of the initial (badly drawn) roughs to gage the idea of the 'unnatural' shape.

Owls bodies are roughly round when flying head on, so to get the first sense of movement I considered just having the facial features to give the impression fo the owl flying head first towards you. I then played around with the wings and how to make an impressionistic but believable shape with the swirling motion always in the forefront of the the design. As you can see trying to get both symmetry and good design into the direction of the feathers was the most tricky concept

The final design aspect was the feet. For m this was the most important part and most fun to conceive. They had to look real but simplistic, whilst fitting in with the movement of the piece. I am honestly most proud of this part as I have a tendency to overcomplicate, however I believe they are subtle and simple enough to go almost unnoticed, but would be sorely missed if removed altogether.

Onto the printing part of the design, the video shows the final cut out design. Not only is applying the ink immensely satisfying from an aesthetic point of view, this is where it all comes together and you can see where the print is headed. I have tested out a new paper which I am certain I will use again (details at the end of the post).

I am very happy with the final outcome as an edition of 15 Limited Edition prints. This will be up on the store from the 17th august. I hope this has been insightful to my process and how the work has come together!

Thank you for reading and on a side note remember to do a little bit to help save the planet everyday.



  • Zerkall Print Paper - 75% Cotton Rag, Acid Free, 210gsm. Offers Archival Permanence with a Matt Surface Finish.

  • Linoleum

  • Caligo Relief Inks

#odillustration #olliedavisillustration #linocut #linoprint #printmaker #print #reliefprint #illustration #illustrationblog #process #owl