View Full Version : Lino printing: advice sought

11-17-2003, 05:27 PM
Hello all,
I have cut my lino prints- no problem there. They are the size of a CD so I superglued them onto CD cases, so they are very sturdy and all ready to start printing.
I have watercolours, on the label it designates them as suitable for 'block prints.' Well, I tried printing with some diluted watercolour paint, but it came out very uneven... So I have bought some ink pad ink, and was intending to make some temporary ink pads out of some cloth, or perhaps foam.
Before I do, I would be very grateful if someone could tell me a good technique to print with watercolour... And what are those rollers in art supply shops for? To apply pressure when printing, or to apply the paint?
Looking at some of the fine prints I saw in a different thread, I can't help but feel I am doing something fundamentally wrong- My prints come out very patchy...

11-19-2003, 06:58 PM
Graeme: I would suggest you check out one of my favorite books, published in GB, Relief printmaking : a manual of techniques by Colin Walklin. It has wonderful information and examples in it. I've never tried the way you explained, but I think experimenting is great. Many woodblock users incorporate watercolor in the hanga method, applying the colors to the block with a brush and then printing on moistened paper. I would hate to say most, but a lot of lino printers use either water-based or oil-based relief printing inks and applying it with those rollers you see in the art store. Then you can use a press or a wooden spoon to rub the back of the paper. Let's see some of your results. Best wishes

11-20-2003, 05:17 AM
I've never printed with watercolours, though there are water-based printing inks. A different product though than watercolours.

The rollers are for rolling the ink into a film on a surface (usually a large glass palette or similar) and then rolling onto the surface of the block to be printed. I'm curious about you attaching it to a CD case. When I block print I use a lot of pressure (I press with my hand) and anything plastic like a CD case would break. Also, a CD case is hollow inside so the pressure wouldn't be even on the block. My recommendation is not to attach the lino to anything, just press on the back. If you don't like the texture (some lino is backed with burlap for instance) cover it with some heavy paper and then press. :) Alternatively, if you are using a delicate paper like japanese paper you can lie the block face *up* and then gently lie the paper over it. Japanese paper usually doesn't take much ink so you just gently rub and then pull the paper off.

As for rollers there are lots of different textures too. I discovered after a few years of using those horrible hard black rollers that the softer silicon/rubber ones create a much more even ink layer on the block. They're the ones with pretty transparent colour rollers - kinda look like gummy candy. :D Mmmmm....

Lino printing is low-cost which is nice but you might want to invest in one roller. Or you can just brush your ink onto your block but you might get some areas on the print much gloopier than others. Even inking is a key to a nice print.


11-22-2003, 07:11 PM
Hi Doug, hi Tina,
Thanks for your advice. Now that I know better how to go about doing this I shall experiment in the week, and let you know of my results.
Thanks again!

Alan Cross
11-23-2003, 09:56 PM
I had lots of problems with watercolors now I have some inks for my next try lol
Alan :)