Skip to content

Trying something new

January 14, 2014


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.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2014 10:51 am

    Fantastic. Thanks for sharing your technical details. I must get some waterbased inks.

    • paperstew permalink*
      January 14, 2014 12:10 pm

      I still prefer oil over water. Maybe Akua would be the way to go.

      • January 14, 2014 3:01 pm

        I tried some Akua when i was in Boise and was surprised at how good they are.

      • paperstew permalink*
        January 14, 2014 3:50 pm

        I might have to break down and purchase some.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: