If you’re interested in graphic design and illustration, there is no way you haven’t heard about block-printing. Or linocut printing. The possibilities are endless: printing on wrap paper, envelopes and letters, gift tags, t-shirts, scarfs, or any type of material and paper for that matter. There is really no limit to how creative you can get. So, naturally, I had to see what the technique was all about.
I am lucky to be neighbours with Vostok Printing Shop here in Barcelona. On Friday I got my block-printing kit and went straight to Skillshare. Fernanda Franco teaches a class on block-printing basics, and I am happy I chose it!
Because I went for simple and abstract designs, I draw them directly on the lino, and then started carving.
I used water based black ink from Essdee, and carving tools from Abig. When using water based paint, you can dilute it a little, but careful not to add too much water, or the paint will be too loose. When charging your roller with paint, you will need to hear a “crunchy” sound, can’t explain it exactly, but you’ll know it when you’ll hear it 🙂 Then when you reached the perfect colour consistency. The good part is that you can easily wash your tools after printing.
There is one big decision you have to make before starting to carve. What are the parts of your design that you want to see printed on the paper in the end? Those parts are the ones you will not carve. Everything else has to be carved. The design that remains in relief, is the one you will see on paper later. Remember that if you want to print a phrase, or a word, you will have to carve it in reverse: from right to left, in order to have the left-right direction after printing.
Here are my designs: some simple geometry forms and symmetries, as well as a mixed media composition with watercolours.
I got so inspired by the geometric forms and patterns I created, that I might as well create a sketchbook with different block-printing patterns. We’ll see 🙂
Until next time, dare to play with your ideas!