View Full Version : Need Help with Lino Blocks!

11-12-2002, 01:45 PM
Okay....I'm just a lino block newbie. I've cut my tile and made a few nice prints - they look great!

But...how do I apply multiple colours? Say I've done a grapevine and want to do the vine in green and the grapes in purple. Is there an easy way to do this? If the design is complicated enough, it can be very difficult to use the brayer to apply different colours.

Can anyone help me?


11-13-2002, 07:04 AM
there are a few options:

1. Multiple ink colours on one plate, one printing. I would sometimes stipple with the paintbrush for more ink colours. Or use a wadded bit of scrim or fabric. Then just take one print.

2. Multiple printings - each with a new colour. You'll have to figure out what order to print in. For instance, if you have an all black print with some green leaves. First ink up the whole plate with black and print. When the print is dry ink up just the areas you want green - either by creating a paper mask to block off all but just the leaves or by applying ink with a paintbrush or wad of fabric. Then print the plate on top of the dry black print. For this you'll also need to devise a way to make sure the second print lines up - I used to put the plate on the table in an area marked with masking tape then have another outline of masking tape for where the paper would line up.

3. Multiple plates. I've done this too - where each colour has it's own plate completely. It can be really interesting for having different patterns on each plate so that as you print the next colour on top the one underneath shows through a bit. Or you can use your one plate and cut it apart like a jigsaw puzzle so you can ink each piece differently. Then fit back together and print. :)

One quick tip on printing one colour over another. Especially if you're printing over a darker colour, you'll want to add a wee touch of white to your top colour to make it opaque.

Have fun. :)

11-13-2002, 09:33 AM
Thank you so much Tina ..

I'll try it this evening!!!



11-25-2002, 11:48 AM
You can also do a reduction technique where you cut away the areas that you have already printed, leaving the areas for the next color to be printed.

One hint, it is always better to print your lighter colors first. Adding white, as timelady mentioned, can be effective, but I have always felt it was a waste of ink when I could just print the lighter colors first. Below is a piece I did using the reduction technique.


11-25-2002, 04:52 PM
Hi Neutra,
If you'd like to see a little more about the reduction method, that's what I used in my woodcut demo...
I use the the same methos with lino. :)


11-26-2002, 09:28 AM
That's gorgeous Sassy!

I've printed off your link on reduction Gisela - thank you both for your comments.

I've been printing Christmas cards using the "mask" method - it can get a bit messy, but does work.


11-27-2002, 01:03 AM
Woo, for a lino block newbie you are taking on a tough challenge. Printing with more than one color can be trickie even for the experienced lino block printer.

Will using a thinner brayer work to apply some of the colors?
Have you thought about cutting two blocks, one for each color, and keying each block?

I've done 2 colors by printing one color of ink on a different color paper. I've also purchased large sheets of lino and cut out sections to be inked a different color, inked them, then set them back in their original space.

Then print yourself silly.