Are you good at drawing? Do you think you have to be good at it to make “beautiful” art? Or do you just lack inspiration? These and similar questions concern many creatives, and they can inhibit us from creating anything at all. But art lives from the fact that we do things differently and bring in our own view of the world.

For a quick win, I’m going to show you 4 “simple” illustration styles that are best suited for multicolor lino printing – and simple is not meant in a judgmental way, but more on that later.

#1 Abstract shapes

Abstract shapes have something very timeless, classic. Here, the colors and their harmony with each other play an important role. But also the proportions and the arrangement of the forms make the charm of this style. A motif can express lightness or heaviness, it can appear balanced by a symmetrical arrangement of elements or dynamic if you work with an asymmetry. This is a very beginner-friendly style for anyone who wants to learn lino printing.

The results are sure to succeed, as carving the shapes is easy even for the inexperienced. In addition, the shapes can be arranged in any way each time, which invites experimentation.

#2 Floral

Floral shapes are always something for the eye – and not at all difficult to draw! Forget about realistic illustrations – you can’t do much wrong here. Because the organic forms of nature encourage abstraction. The overprinting of different leaves and branches in various colors can thus become a bouquet of flowers or a jungle. Good to combine with some abstract shapes.

#3 Minimalistic landscapes

A style that has been particularly trendy for a few years now – and with good reason! You can hardly get enough of landscapes. Our choice of color decides whether the landscape is rather in a hot place or whether a cool fjord is part of the picture. If you love traveling, you can perfectly express this passion in your pictures.

In principle, the pictures are always structured quite similarly. We can depict hills or dunes by building up the lower half of the picture in a wave-like manner. A sun or a moon on the horizon, done! This style leaves quite a lot of room for individuality.

#4 Typography

I have to admit – typography is a design discipline all of its own, and one that I have a lot of respect for! The challenge here is not so much in carving and printing, but rather in having a feeling for a font and finding the “right words”. Still, it counts as one of the “simple” illustration styles for me (please forgive me, dear typographers) because it’s easier to craft than some other styles and you can set the entrance lower ut still create something beautiful!

Words are powerful – they can strengthen and motivate us, bring us closer to each other. Therefore, I can only encourage everyone to dare to try this art.


These are just 4 examples of how you can create wonderful art with reduced shapes and all of them are perfectly suitable for lino printing. They also leave room for your drawing development and you can always modify them, reinvent them or change them by using a different color set. Find more inspiration on my Pinterest board.

I personally love serial work because it gives me a “safe” framework within which I can experiment. If you know my work, you can tell that the basic structure of my girls never really changes. But the theme does! So it’s incredibly easy for me to come up with a new design because I start with a “safe framework” each time – and not from 0.

My advice to those who want to start with lino printing: Pick a (simple) style that you like right away and stick with it for now. Please don’t copy, that should be clear! But with each work that goes in the same direction as the previous one, you will gain confidence and all by itself more and more own thoughts flow in. Find out more about my journey in this article.

Linocut Tool Guide

Still unsure which tools and products you need for your lino printing starter kit? Just download my guide with product recommendations for linocut beginners – on 6 pages I list all the materials and tools I need to make my colorful prints – and you can do it too!

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