Crow pint on paper and on a orange box

Fun With Lino Block

Print making with lino block. A way to print on a variety of surfaces.
Print making isn't just for paper surfaces

Using a lino block printing technique to print onto different surfaces offers endless options.

Printed crow is on a cotton bag with a beach towel inside
Use the same method to print onto material to customize generic bags. . Wash in cool water. ​​POSSIBLE  PRINTING SURFACES: paper, cardboard, fabric, wood.

These are the printing inks used for the prints:

Materials: Impression Inks: Black, Titanium White and Phthalo Blue, printing brayer/roller, test papers, inking plate, palette knife, cardboard box, canvas bag, lino block and cutting tools.


Lino Block

Once your image is drawn onto the block, cut away the surface that is not going to receive ink.  Do a proof print to test the amount of ink and to see if there are areas that are still collecting the ink. These may be carved away at this stage.
How to prepare lino block for printing. See video above.
This is a block already printed. Even when washed the block may be stained with which will not affect the next colour being printed. NOTE: ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOUR HANDS!​​!
making cuts into the lino block with carving tool to show how to cut away from your hands
Things to consider: Vary the size of the cuts for interest. If after your proof print you notice some lines are too fine and have filled in with ink, enlarge them with a larger blade. Varying the size of the cuts also adds visual interest. NOTE: ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOUR HANDS!​​
Palette knife mixing inks. Blue and white
 Start with the light colour and mix in the darker colours to modify. It is easier to darken a colour than it is ​​to lighten.

Step 2
Mixing your colour

Mix your custom colour ink. Mix on the inking surface or pre mix for a larger volume in a container. Once mixed let the ink rest for 10-15 minutes for the tack to build.
Mixing custom ink colours is done in the same method as with paints. View mixing tip above.

Brayer with too much blue ink on it
Notice the ink beading on the roller and printing plate​​. This shows that the ink is too thick and will fill in the carved out lines. 


Getting the right amount of ink on the roller

Make sure the ink is not too thick or it will slide and fill in the cuts on the block. When the consistency is right it will have a sweet tacking sound and the rolled ink will resemble a suede finish on the surface. 

Test the amount of ink by rolling onto a piece of paper. This will let you know if you have too much or too little ink on the roller. If it is too much keep rolling onto the test paper. This image shows the inking for the blue print of the crow on the canvas bag in the above image.

Inking up the lino block with black ink


Rolling ink onto the lino block

Apply an even layer of ink to the lino cut. Roll in different directions to ensure the entire surface is covered with ink. This image shows black ink which is applied the same as the blue ink.

Pulling the lino block from the top of a box to reveal the print of the crow


Printing and the reveal

Place the lino block face down onto the surface.

Apply pressure over the entire surface. Use hands and a clean brayer if one is handy. Be sure to apply pressure to the entire surface. Then pull back the lino block for the reveal.
POSSIBLE  PRINTING SURFACES: paper, cardboard, fabric, wood.

Clean up: 

You can ink up the lino block again and reprint. When the prints start to loose definition of lines it is time to clean the lino block. Wipe the excessive ink with a rag or scrape with a palette knife, then wash the plate by emmersing in water. Allow to thoroughly dry, especially the carved lines. the lino block may be used for printing again. 

The inks will stain the lino block which will not effect further printings.  

Now your print needs to dry.  Share your prints on different surfaces with us on social media @triart.mfg

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