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Old 06-21-2019, 09:43 AM
moepar moepar is offline
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lino printing newbie

Hi all.
Just took a class on lino printing, and am hooked now.
Have ordered some lino to start carving on, and have a small amount of ink to get started with.
My question is about experimenting with acrylics as well for doing some prints. I had done a brief search on the forum about this. One thing I saw was about mixing an ink gel medium with the acrylic. What exactly is this, how is it different from acrylic gel medium.
Any other suggestions about using acrylics as well, how to mix it for printing, etc, would be appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:39 AM
blackandwhite blackandwhite is offline
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Re: lino printing newbie

Haven't heard of ink gel medium, but generally speaking there aren't many acrylics that work for lino printing. The biggest issue is the fast drying time and all normal acrylic paints dry way too quickly to be useful in lino printmaking. Slow drying acrylics (open acrylics etc.) are bit easier in this sense.

Another challenge is the amount of pigment in the paints. Only the highest quality professional paints might have enough pigment for printmaking. Most of the 'normal' grade paints contain too little pigment and produce only faint images. Mixing in some gel medium will make things only worse.

If you are looking for water-based ink, something like Schmincke Aqua Linoprint is likely to work better than acrylic paints. It contains lot of pigment, dries slowly and doesn't dry waterproof so it is easy to clean the plates and tools. Cranfield Water Based Relief Ink is another good option and they also sell retarding medium that slows down the drying time.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:01 PM
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vmrs vmrs is online now
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Re: lino printing newbie

What they mean by ink gel medium for acrylic is the sort of gel medium that increases fluidity and drying time. They are usually self leveling too. There are all sorts of kinds. If you look at this Blicks page (click here), it has many different brands and such.

I have tried acrylics for printing, using a cheap craft brand that is very liquidy. It didn't work that great but it wasn't that bad either. I was using it as part of a design and not a stand alone print so it was alright that it was patchy.

I think if I did it again, I would use a better paint with a gel medium.

You could experiment using small linocuts just to get the feel for it and see if you like the effect. Be sure as acrylic does dry quickly to have either a sink full of water ready to rinse off your lino or a bucket of water or something by you to dunk it in so the acrylic doesn't dry on it.

Be sure to show us what you do too, I would love to see it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:30 PM
moepar moepar is offline
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Re: lino printing newbie

Thank you for your input.
I have bought a minimum of DB inks in smallest sizes to do some experimenting with.
I may try some acrylics now, but will plan on using the inks.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:48 PM
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coolartsybabe coolartsybabe is offline
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Re: lino printing newbie

I use Speedball water soluble ink for block printing. The price isn't too bad. Blick has their own brand of block printing inks that are pretty good and are a little cheaper.

I use Akua inks for Mono Printing and Etching. I want to try those out for block printing too since they company claims it can be used for block printing as well. There's an Akua blending medium that can be used to thin out the ink if needed but add sparingly.

Acrylics paints aren't made for printmaking. I'd stick with block printing inks. The Speedball block printing inks come in water soluble and oil based. I use the water soluble because it's easier to clean up rather than needing toxic solvents to clean the oil based but, it's whatever works for you.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:13 AM
Leather Roller Leather Roller is offline
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Re: lino printing newbie

Just to pivot away from ink tech, have a look at Picasso's lino cuts, he really expanded the form with his approach. For example, print your block with no cuts in a very dark color, using your fave registration method. Then cut your image and print it on top of the flat using an opaque white based color. Now you have a simple dynamic image in dark/ neg carved relief. Stay as loose as you can be, be willing to accept mistakes, and have fun!
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