Thursday, February 10, 2011

2 color print process

So, I thought it would be cool to show how I make a 2 color linoleum print. First off, it is important to note that I consider myself a "semi-folk printmaker", meaning that although I went to art school and learned all kinds of good stuff, I definitely didn't study printmaking. I've never even read a book on printmaking. So I probably do everything in a way that's different than a "real" printmaker. I've taught myself how to do everything.

For my first 2 color (which was a woodcut), I actually took one piece of wood and cut an area out of it with a saw, so that I could ink one area black and the other area blue. I bet nobody else has done that! (well, maybe not).

Anyway, now I am on this kick where I print one image in white then print black on top of it, and this is all done on colored paper. I just love the effect.

Below is part of the process for making one of my 2 color linocut prints:

First I make a sketch.
Then I draw the sketch on my linoleum and carve away what I don't want.
Next I make a print on paper with my carved linoleum piece.
THEN, (here comes one of my possibly weird techniques), I press the paper while the ink is still wet onto a blank, uncarved piece of linoleum. (You can see the reverse of the tree in the image on the right.)
And last, I use my fresh piece of newly inked linoleum to decide where to carve for my 2nd color. Since I can see where objects in my first piece of linoleum are, I can just easily draw and carve what I want to see in the background and know exactly how it all registers. Amazing!

Maybe all of this will make more sense once I actually make a 2-color print with these pieces of linoleum. Coming soon!