a journal of original drawings and screen prints of animals


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DIY Styrofoam Block Printing

Over the holidays I was inspired to do some lino blocks. I was pretty excited about this idea. But as you may well know, one thing or another has a tendency to get in the way. There were good intentions of going to the art store to stock up on the necessary supplies as well as a list of other items that need to be done. Well, either it was the time or the cold or whatever...my intentions were way-laid.

I remembered a project that I had done when my kids were little: a different kind of printing project that didn't require special supplies (other than what we already had at hand).


-Styrofoam (we use washed meat trays from the grocery store)
-Pencil or pen
-Block of wood
-Water-Soluble Block Printing Ink
-Soft Rubber Brayer
-Palette Knife
-Small Sheet of Glass or Plexiglas or a Styrofoam Tray


Cut the edges off the Styrofoam trays to make a flat square or rectangular piece
Draw your design with a pencil or pen. When you have a design you are happy with, go over the lines so that they are indented into the Styrofoam.
Cut the shape of the design along the indented lines like I did with the above image of the bear.
Glue your Styrofoam shape onto the wood block.

Scoop out some ink onto the glass sheet (or  Plexiglas or Styrofoam tray) and roll it out with the bra
yer so that the ink is thinly applied to your Styrofoam Block.
Carefully lay a piece of paper over the block and press evenly.
While holding the paper down with one hand, carefully lift  a corner of the paper with the other hand to check if the print is looking good. 

If you want to have words in your design, don't forget to write them backwards!

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