Sunday, August 23, 2009

I went home from the art workshop at a local museum with a battered piece of linoleum and with blank sheets of paper where my prints were supposed to be.

The museum had a special exhibit of prints by Albrecht Durer, the master of all printmakers, and the workshop was a printmaking class. I got my negative and positive space mixed up, which can really mess up printmaking, and I didn't finish any prints in the workshop.

But with my battered linoleum and blank paper, I also went home from the workshop with the desire to try printmaking again. I bought printmaking supplies at an art shop, and the materials have been sitting in a box in my closet ever since.

Since joining EDM, I've noticed some artists making prints, and modern-day master Mark Hill's blog at has especially caught my eye.

Looking at his block prints and reading his words, I can tell he has fun with his artwork. He inspired me to pull out my supplies today.

First I used a 3x4" piece of linoleum to carve and then print a detail from the contour drawing I posted yesterday on the blog.Next, I used a slightly smaller piece of speedy-cut rubber to make another print. For the second design, I used a drawing I made awhile ago of a flower. Here's the print with variations:

I'd like to thank Albrecht and Mark for sharing their prints and for inspiring others. (If you could tell me how to erase a carved line gone astray, I'd really appreciate it.)

Supplies used: carving tools, linoleum, rubber, water soluable printing ink, ink roller, and drawing paper for the prints. Most supplies were Speedball brand.


  1. Your prints turned out very nice! I have some print-making supplies which, like you, I've had for a very long time. Maybe I'll give them a go one of these days! nancy

  2. I think they turned out very well! I can only imagine it was a very difficult task. I will be doing printmaking at college as some point this year. That should be fun!

    Albrecht Durer was a MASTER of printmaking. I love his work. If he tells you his secrets, please pass them on :D

  3. Your prints turned out very nice. You had really good even coverage and a clean print. I have done quite a bit of lino cuts. I joined a yahoo group and did some atc trades. Since December I put it down...because I was not satisfied with how the prints were turning out. The coverage was not as good as I would have liked and the ink was too gunked up on the image ...I was trying to compensate for the other parts turning out white.
    I wonder what kind of paper you are using? Is there anything special that you are doing to the paper or to the ink.
    I have Japanese carving tools which I really like. I am just using Speed ball ink and roller. The paper that I have used is printing paper.
    I will try to get to my scanner this week and post at least on of my ATC for you to see.

  4. I went to the links you posted. You said that you saw the exhibit of Albrecht. What were the sizes of his prints. The ones for sale were 11x14 but it is hard to imagine that that was the original size of the print. Really I don't care what size they were it is hard to imagine doing the print you link us to. Just one slip and the line is ruined.
    I was wondering if your teacher talked about using different linoleums? I have thought of experimenting with some different kinds.
    Have you been to and seen their gallery. It is a feast for the eyes. It is where I got my tools.

  5. Nancy: I encourage you to pull out your supplies! Have fun with them.

    Heather: Durer's work blows me away, and if I do have a conversation with him, you'll be the first to know. :)

    Sacredartist, Durer's prints are incredible! He was the master, and I don't think there has been anyone since Durer who comes close to his printmaking abilities.

    Please do post your ATCs - I'd love to see them.

    As for the ink coverage, I put a dab of ink on a sheet of acetate and I roll it in all directions until very thin. I honestly am so new to this that I can't offer much advice except to keep playing with the ink until you get the right coverage. I used heavy drawing paper for these particular prints. I'll check out the link you suggested.

  6. I love the flowers with variations! Nice work and Thank you for the flattering!


  7. You don’t actually have to bother with all of that equipment to get a nice print; when I was at school we didn’t have printing facilities so I got a pane of glass, letterhead-size, and inked it up with a roller. Then we took a sheet of newsprint, rubbed it down on the ink with medium pressure and pulled it off, taking excess ink away. Do this about 3/4 times til it’s no longer a dark black, and is just a thin layer of ink remains. Then you put your final piece of newsprint over the ink, draw onto it with a soft pencil (otherwise it’ll tear) and, when complete, peel the paper off.

    It’s never perfect but that’s part of the fun and sometimes, however it comes off the plate of glass, the excess ink may add to the drawing. You can also put a tiny bit of ink back onto the plate, make sure it’s evened out and keep drawing all day like that. I’ll put up one of my own prints done this way in my blog so you can see. Nice work!

  8. Great info, Ben J Hamilton! I love to hear from experts! It's such a great way to learn.

  9. Hehe, I'm no expert. If you’ve an interest in flowers you should also try scanning them — sometimes gives you great results