Creating a linocut print inspired by Betty Ebanja and garden flowers


Creative activities like this can be incorporated into the day-to-day care of people in a variety of settings. This particular printmaking activity has been tried and tested by the residents of Arthur Rank Hospice in Great Shelford, Cambridge. We worked with residents, volunteers, and staff to select 16 artworks from the Paintings in Hospitals collection to go on display in their communal spaces.


This activity is inspired by Betty Ebanja’s Summer by the River. Butterflies and other insects rest on a riverside plant. The neutral colours of the plants make the jewel-tones of the insects appear to sparkle in the sun.


This activity supports self-expression and hand-eye coordination. Learning a new skill gives a sense of attainment and builds self-confidence. The opportunity to learn with others enables social interaction.

         Betty Ebanja, Summer by the River, 1996            The tools needed for this lino printing activity

Betty Ebanja, Summer by the River, 1996 (left) and the tools recommended for this activity.

You will need:

Let’s get started:

  1. Choose some plants that have interesting shapes and patterns. Draw them on a piece of tracing paper.
  2. Place the drawn-on side down onto the lino. Scribble on the back of the tracing paper to transfer your drawing.
  3. Using your carving tools, carefully carve away the areas of lino you want to leave white on your final print.
  4. When you have carved your image, brush away any bits so the lino surface is clean.
  5. Put a small amount of ink into the printmaking tray. Run the roller through the ink so it is evenly spread on the roller.
  6. Run the inked roller over the cut lino, so you get a thin and even spread of ink on top.
  7. Place a piece of paper on top of the lino and use the back of a spoon to press firmly and evenly over the surface.
  8. Peel back the paper to reveal your print. Leave to dry.

Residents taking part in a Paintings in Hospitals art workshop at Arthur Rank Hospice

Let’s talk about...

While making your prints, here are some things to think or talk about. If you are doing this on your own, you could write these down as you go.

  • What shapes and patterns work the best and why?
  • Would your image print on different materials, such as textiles?

Find out how you can benefit from working with Paintings in Hospitals...