Do more of what makes you happy!
Make linoprints in an easy and creative way with Aqua Linoprint colours from Schmincke.
A Workshop for easy printing techniques with Susanne Goch
Have you ever wanted to print pictures, postcards or letters with linoprint colours but you were afraid of difficult cutting techniques with hard lino blocks remembered from your school days? Schmincke now have a simple, non-complicated and nevertheless professional alternative: linoprint with soft print blocks and brilliant Schmincke Aqua Linoprint Colours based on a natural binder – gum-arabic, the same binder used in watercolour paints – rather than a synthetic binder.
All techniques like black-line or white-line prints, multicolour prints, letters, postcards, or pictures are easy to make and have an amazing handmade touch.
You will need:
• A fine pen
• Tracing paper
• Pictures or letters for ideas (photos, text, drawings)
• Print block made of soft gum like our SoftCut Lino
• Lino cutters in different sizes
• Schmincke Aqua Linoprint Colours of your choice
• Glass plate for rolling out ink colours
• Print roller
• Smooth, heavy paper like Hahnemühle Nostalgie or heavy cartridge paper (white or coloured)
Step 1: The design and its pre-drawing
First you have to sketch a pre-drawing with your pen on transparent paper (and not directly on the printblock!). Decide whether you’d like to create a blackline-print (cut out, without background) or a whiteline-print (print of cut lines).
Step 2: The transfer onto the printblock
Put your pre-drawing upside down on the printblock and transfer it by rubbing onto the printblock. Check out whether the drawing has been transferred completely on the surface of the printblock. Attention: The drawing now appears reversed as a mirror image, but this is good as the print will be right-way round again, important for letters.
Step 3: Two creative options
A – The blackline-print
You have to remove the whole background around the drawing/letters should be cut out. Attention: Linoprint is a relief painting, that means only the remaining parts that are raised will be printed.
Every part you don’t want to print must be cut away completely. This is easily made using the soft printing blocks, even fine details, round objects and large areas can be cut without difficulties.
B – The whiteline-print
You only cut out the lines of the drawing so that only the background will be printed and the lines will stay free of ink.
Step 4: The colour application by a print roller and Aqua Linoprint colours
After the drawing is completely cut out, you have to roll out a small amount of Schmincke Aqua Linoprint colour onto the glass plate. The print roller must be covered with a thin, even colour layer. Now you apply the colour by rolling it onto the gum plate like it is a “stamp”. The application has to be thin; if you use too much colour, fine lines could get lost and the print could become “muddy” as the ink squishes into the areas you don’t want it.
Step 5: Printing
It is recommended that the first print is a test-print on “test-paper” so you can see possible faults and remaining high areas and details which can be removed before printing again.
When you print by pressing the stamp onto the paper you have to pay attention that the stamp doesn’t slip away, otherwise the print could smear.
Step 6: Result
For a clean printing result you have to apply “fresh” colour for every new print. Never mind if some smaller irregularities appear in the result – this is part of the handmade charm. When the print is good, we recommend you immediately print a small series.
Step 7: Cleaning
After finishing your work all printblocks and other working material can easily be cleaned with water. It doesn’t matter if a slight discolouration remains on the stamps as it doesn’t influence further printing results.
1. Printing with two (or more) colours:
For this technique it is best to use two (or more) printing rollers to apply the different colours. If you are going to print a series, an interim cleaning is not recommendable. You can either apply two or more colours on one stamp or you can use different stamps in different colours and print them on top of each other to create a multicolour design.
2. Printing with changing colours
For this technique you shall use two or more colours on one glass plate which should be mixed slightly (not completely!) with the roller. The colour changes are spontaneous and the results are amazing. This is sometimes called a rainbow blend.
3. Printing on coloured surfaces, sketching books or paper bags
This is another creative option as you can also print on smooth coloured papers, cardboard, paper bags, envelopes and so on. When choosing the colour pay attention on a nice contrast and combination of colours.
For special glossy or glazing effects you can use some special mediums, for example the Schmincke LINO-Pearl, LINO-Gloss or LINO-Glaze. These mediums can be mixed with Aqua Linoprint Colours or can be printed purely with a print roller onto your prints.
The Schmincke Aqua Linoprint Colours are ideal for printing. They have a pleasant smell and a perfect consistency to create even, sharp, brilliant prints – they dry fast and can be cleaned easily. All 15 normal colours as well as all 3 special effect colours (gold, silver, copper) can be used pure or can be intermixed for brilliant results.
They are available in 35ml and 120ml aluminium tubes, seven colour shades also in a 250ml bottle.
Click on the underlined links to go to the Lino Cut Department on the Jackson’s Art Supplies website.
Postage on orders shipped standard to mainland UK addresses is free for orders of £39.
Read more on the Schmincke website.