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block printing tutorial

January 31, 2011

week 45 of 52 weeks; tutorial. i have been meaning to write this tutorial for a while now, but it kept getting pushed to the back burner. i recently ordered my first block printing kit, speedball makes a great starter kit that comes with a block, carving tools, a brayer and ink. so i attempted my very first block carving and printing and it turned out very nicely. it takes a lot of time and muscle, but totally worth it in the end. i have been using it to make papers to include in my collage.

block printing

here is what you will need:


carving tools




paint or ink

block printing

start by drawing out your design with a pencil on the appropriate side of the block. be sure to leave enough space between shapes for carving. the more intricate your design, the harder it will be to carve. i decided on a flower motif for my block.

start carving your block. i found that it was helpful switching between different sizes in the carving tool. you might need to use the biggest one for all the negative space and the smallest one to really sharpen your design.

and i also found it necessary to take long breaks from carving if you don’t want your arm to fall off!

block printing

after completely carving out your design, it is time to start printing. use your paintbrush to evenly spread paint all over your block. make sure to not get too much paint in the cracks.

block printing

place a piece of paper over your design. using the brayer, roll all over the design making sure to get all of the block. pull up your paper and let it dry. you will need to keep playing around with the amount of paint or ink you use until you get the desired effect. i kind of like the ones that don’t have as much paint on them.

block printing

i think if i did it over again, i would carve more space in between my shapes. i think the smaller the space the more likely you will get paint in the cracks. but since this was my very first time, i am pretty happy with the results.

bblock printing

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2011 10:16 am

    It looks so pretty, friend! I love that you’re starting to make your own papers. I think that will totally add to each piece.

  2. February 1, 2011 2:03 am

    Dearest swee wendy, this is awesome! I’ve been eyeing on the speedball kit for a long while now. Your wood carving turned out gorgeous and how nice to know that you now make your own paper for your painting. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing and have a lovely merry happy day! Love to yoU!

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