How I produce the block prints

I’ve had a few people comment on how I produced the block prints, so here is a quick review of how it’s done. This printing method had been done for thousands of years and you probably did it as a kid using a potato.   First I come up with a sketch in the initial part of the design phase.  This is important as I usually come up with about 5 or more sketches and pick the best one that represents the art I want to produce.

initial sketch

After choosing the sketch I transfer it to the linoleum block by re sketching it or using transfer paper. I usually re-sketch it because then I can make the drawing better.

drawing on the block and initial cuttiing

After the image is transferred and everything is good the fun begins and I’ll start cutting the block image leaving the black areas and carving out the white. Sometimes I’ll have to pencil or darken in the image depending on how complicated it is to see where to exactly cut, but I’ve been doing this so long It’s become very intuitive to me. When the image is cut out and the relief of the image is visible I’ll produce a first proof by rolling block printing ink on the block relief and using a wooden spoon I’ll burnish the paper on the block and after five minutes of so then pull the proof to reveal the positive image.

Finished print. Notice that the image is quite different then the original sketch. This is usually developed during the design process. I’ll use the original sketch as a visual then as I sketch I’ll come up with better ideas and elaborate the design, erase and re-sketch if possible until I come up with a final image I’m happy with. Same with the cutting process, sometimes I’ll change the design while cutting the relief out of the block. Comment if you like it.

"Leader of the Pack"

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4 thoughts on “How I produce the block prints

  1. Wow your art amazes me! I really like how you post multiple pictures to show the progress of your work. I may not be the best at drawing, but I’m working on it, and I can’t help coming back to this blog because I need something to guide me in my progress. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Tony, thats the thing about drawing, you don’t have to be the best. To quote Nike. “Just do it” There’s a certain magic that happens in a doodle. It’s the creative process in action. I erase often and redraw and usually I redraw again some when I put the doodle to the block. Sometimes the ideas just happens and other times it takes time, but the most important thing is to put it down on paper! – Carolina Mike

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