Relief Printmaking

28 Sep

This is one of my favourite art techniques that I’m getting into because the finished result is always a surprise until you make your first print.

Soft linoleum (or lino) blocks are one of the easiest materials to carve into because they give way easily under a sharp tool like a precision knife, or carving tools found in art and craft stores. I used a square of lino to carve the image of a spool of thread. I’m using the print as my label.

Other easy and cost efficient materials to do printmaking at home include wood (with the right carving tools) Styrofoam sheets, and even potatoes cut in half can be used to make smaller prints. What you’re looking for is a flat surface that you’re able to carve into.

Once your carving is finished, you need to coat the surface with a thin layer of ink or paint (If the paint is too thick it will smudge the print), press it onto paper and apply pressure. Carefully remove, and you will have your first print. You may need to play around with paper, paint varieties, and the thickness of the paint to get the best results, but the best thing about printmaking is you can always make a new print.


Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts


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2 responses to “Relief Printmaking

  1. rasiqra/revulva

    October 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    this has a really great textured effect, and would give a very personal feel to the space in which it was presented, despite the fact that you could (i believe) make several from one carving! where do you recommend getting the lino blocks to carve? i wonder if this could transfer well to canvas, or to found fabrics for a concert backdrop (an upcoming project i am considering).

    • Ariane

      October 18, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      That’s right, you can make multiple works from one carving! You can get the lino from most art stores like Curries or Aboveground Art Supplies in Toronto. And it does transfer well to canvas and fabrics.


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