What is printmaking?

How are woodcut prints made?

1.) Choose a wood block and varnish it with polyurethane. Some woods work better than others. Some types of wood are very dry and will require several layers of varnish to become slick. Skip this step if working with linoleum.

2.) Draw directly on the block of wood or linoleum or use carbon paper to trace a drawing onto the block. Remember lettering will appear backwards so you would need to draw it onto the block in reverse in order to have it print normally.

3.) Carve out the drawing into the block.

4.) Ink up the block with an ink roller.

5.) Lay your paper onto the inked block.

6.) Press with a barren, spoon or rolling pin if you do not have access to a printing press.

How are silkscreen prints made?

An artist first prepares and image and then burns it onto a screen. Some artists use photoshop to create their image layers. I do sketches and then I paint the image with black paint onto tracing paper. I coat the screen in photo emulsion. This is a mix of chemicals that will allow the image to be put on the screen, similar to the idea of using a darkroom.

I then use a bright light to burn the image onto the screen.

After the screen sits under the light for a period of time, I use a high powered water flow to spray the clear part of the image out the screen. This will allow the ink to go through the screen in those areas, much like a stencil.

From here, I place paper under the screen and then pull the ink through the screen by holding a squeegee at an angle.

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