Making Art: Printmaking Step Three

Art making takes time ( most people don’t understand this- they think art is easy) and documenting the process takes even longer so that’s why I haven’t posted for a few days. So sorry but with apologies done we can move forward to the fun stuff!
Here are the things you’ll need for the next step: a brayer, printing ink, and newsprint paper for trying out different placements and some good paper for your final print. I use a good quality watercolor paper that is smooth.


By the way, I wanted to show you my source of inspiration. I saw an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York awhile back. The exhibit was called “Guitar Heroes”, a collection of handcrafted string instruments. It highlighted the intricate designs made by craftsmen from Italy to New York. The one I chose to carve was an archtop guitar made by John D’Angelico. It was simple enough to try carving for printing making purposes.


So the next thing is to start printing, but not the final one just yet! A clean styrofoam meat tray is convenient enough to put a squirt of ink on but you can use a piece of glass taped on the sides with masking tape for safety. Squirt your color onto the meat tray and move your brayer back and forth through the ink until it makes a ‘smacking’ sound. Apply the ink to your printing plate evenly. You don’t want to over- ink the printing plate.



Next step is to print on some newsprint. Press your inked image onto the paper, ink side facing the paper. Carefully lift the print plate away from the paper to see what you’ve printed.




I make several prints side by side. You have to wash your tools if you change colors. I make many images so that I can cut them apart and place them on a large sheet of paper the same size as my good paper. That way I know exactly where to print my first image on the good paper.



Remember to wash your tools when you change colors and dry them thoroughly as well or else your ink will get watered down!

You can also make smaller print plates with small marks on them and use those for borders (see in photo above ‘cleaning’ image)

Here I am cutting the images apart.


This is where I try out placement before I print the real thing. It always helps to plan things out so you don’t waste that good paper.


You can also use black ink on colored paper or decorative papers. I make my own decorative papers and use those for printing on as well. It’s fun to experiment with different inks and papers until you get the look you want. I’ll show you more of this in the next post! ‘Til then………….. 🙂


About artistmum

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