Trying something new


On Monday I saw a different approach to carving a linoleum block: drypoint relief printing (thanks Rosie!). The artist Warren Criswell is an amazing master of this technique. The results yield a soft drawing quality to a normally sharp lined medium. Going through his techniques page, my brain had a hard time wrapping around the 2 block technique. Rather than stretch “my little grey cells”, I would start simply with one block. It’s Monday so I can start the week off easy, right? Searching through my supplies I found a small 3″x 4″ block and the drypoint needle. It was recommended to use a diamond tipped tool, but I don’t think that is what I have. Subject was something close at hand: my left index finger. Away I went.

The needle draws up quite a lot of burs, so I used my fingernail to scrape them clear. Initial inking was with Speedball waterbased black. First proof is below

drypoint2So, it does work! More scratching made the block look like this:


I ran several proofs and scratched more to come up with:


So far, I’ve found the ink has to be the right consistency to remain on the surface and not get pushed into the more delicate lines. At least it was fun to play.


It’s done for today and time to move on to something else. Maybe tomorrow I’ll come back and resolve the image a bit further or start anew. 🙂

Materials: drypoint needle, 3″x 4″ linoleum, Speedball ink to start, Daniel Smith water based relief ink for the 6th proof.

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

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