The Art of Linocut Printing: A Quick Guide

Linocut printing is a captivating form of relief printmaking that allows artists to create unique and intricate designs on paper or fabric. With a few essential tools and a dash of creativity, you can easily embark on this rewarding artistic journey.

Here's a quick guide on how to print linocut:

Materials Needed:

  1. Linoleum Block: This serves as your canvas. Choose a linoleum block with a smooth surface for optimal carving.
  2. Carving Tools: For beginners, just use a pointed tool or a smaller knife. Later, you can invest in a special set of linocut carving tools with various blade shapes for carving out your design.
  3. Ink: If you’ve never printed before, you might want water-based ink. Later, go for an oil-based printing ink.
  4. Ink Roller: A brayer, or ink roller, is essential for evenly spreading ink on the linoleum block.
  5. Paper or Fabric: Choose high-quality paper or fabric to showcase your final prints.
  6. Printmaking Baren / Muller or Linocut Press: Make printing easier with good tools :-)

Steps to Print Linocut:

  1. Design your image: Begin by sketching your design on paper. Once satisfied, transfer it onto the linoleum block using transfer paper or tracing. You can also directly sketch your design on the lino block but it’s easier to transfer it from paper.
  2. Carve the linoleum block: Use the pointed tool or carving tools to carefully remove the areas you want to remain blank on the final print. Think of it as sculpting your design into the linoleum.
  3. Ink the linoleum block: Squeeze a small amount of ink onto a smooth surface and use the brayer to roll it out evenly. Apply the ink to the carved linoleum block, ensuring all recessed areas are covered.
  4. Printing technique: Use the lino press or baren to make your job easier. The press guarantees great pressure and control.
  5. Reveal your print: Gently lift the paper or fabric from the linoleum block to unveil your printed design. Allow it to dry thoroughly before handling.

Tips for Success:

  • Experiment with pressure: Adjust the pressure applied during hand-printing to achieve varying effects.
  • Experiment with paper and ink: There are several types of colours and paper, for maximum print quality, try different combinations.
  • Test on scrap paper: Before printing on your final material, conduct test prints on scrap paper to refine your technique.
  • Explore colors: Experiment with different ink colors to add depth and vibrancy to your linocut prints. You can also combinate colors for gradient and and colourful lino prints.

Linocut printing offers a delightful blend of creativity and hands-on craftsmanship. So, gather your materials, let your imagination flow, and enjoy the satisfying process of bringing your linocut designs to life on paper or fabric.

Happy printing!

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1 comment


I was interested in purchasing the press, what is the black foam that you put over the print? Do you have a link to purchase that?



sherry liu

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