Sunday, October 25, 2009


I finished the nasturtium print for the Baren Exchange 42 last Sunday. Here is a bit of some of the process:

I decided to do something a little different..... use linoleum for the key block.I had never printed with lino using the Japanese method (pigment, water, and paste) and was planning to do the key block with oil base.... but happily found that the watercolor and methyl cellulose that I'm used in this worked fine.

And I also was surprised and pleased that I could do somewhat fine lines using the linoleum. I have never been able to get much detail with wood. And it was so easy to cut and my arthritis didn't flair up at all, though by the time I'd cut all the wood blocks I had a pretty painful blister on my middle finger.

Most of my prints in the last few years have been reduction. This is a small print and I'd at first thought I'd might do some reduction, but like the idea of doing more prints later. I might do some reduction later in a final edition.

After trying different ways of registration, I find the following gives me the best results:

I cut my key block and then cut my kentos in all of my blocks before transferring my key block to the additional blocks.

This poor picture shows me rolling oil base ink onto my linoleum key block. I will print onto a piece of tracing paper.

Here is my piece of tracing paper on the lino block after I have rubbed the back with my baren.
You should print a new piece of tracing paper for each color block.... If you use the same one the ink will build up and make the lines print on the block wider than they are.... I found this out and it caused problems on one of the blocks.

On the bottom I have placed the printed tracing paper face down on to the block into the kento marks that I'd already cut. The kentos aren't very evident in this picture. I will rub the back and it will off set (transfer) from the paper onto the wood. I had already offset the key block image on the other side of the block (on the top of this picture). You can see the kentos better in the top one.

I was taught to transfer the kento along with the image from the key block and cut along with each color block. But when I did that, I seemed to always be off on the registration.... its easier to get the paper in the kento correctly than to cut a kento correctly. After I cut each block, I clean the oil image off with paint thinner. (I had of course cleaned the key block and roller off after printing the tracing papers.) Some of the oily ink image stays on the color blocks (you can see some in the following pictures of the blocks) but doesn't affect the print.

I didn't take pictures of the prints in each stage, but here are the blocks.

No need to say what color they printed. The yellow and the aqua combined to make green. The while speck is something on the scanner.

I cut a seventh block with just the bloom on the bottom and the bottom of the larger bottle.


Here is the final print.... at least what I hoped for. Thanks to my too thick lines when I reused the tracing paper when I transferred my image I had some mistakes in the background block .... I've corrected it here some with a brush and watercolor.

Since my finger was in no shape to cut anymore, I decided to leave out the yellow background for this edition.
It wasn't just the yellow background block that wasn't right....the stem just below the yellow flower is the most obvious which I thought I'd fixed but made worse and didn't realize until I was done.

I used a product that I'm sold on..... DAP PLASTIC WOOD CELLULOSE FIBRE FILLER. I corrected several little mistakes and will fix the background block. I don't know if it will adhere to the linoleum, but will try it as there are a few slips there too.

Now the printing things are put away and I'm back in painting mode.


Kris Wiltse said...

Lovely Print! I enjoy seeing your process too. Thanks!

starkeyart said...

Beautiful print! Love the colors.

Amanda said...

A beautiful print! Thanks for showing your process.

Annie B said...

Lovely print, Carole. I know how you feel about your "mistakes" but I can honestly say that I'm not entirely sure where those mistakes are!
And thanks so much for sharing process. I too have learned to cut my kento marks first and then use those cut kentos to guide the sketch or keyblock into position. It feels much more accurate. Thanks for the tip about using linoleum with watercolor + methyl cellulose. I'll add that to my list of things to try. Enjoyed your post!

Lee said...

It's a beautiful print! I do love hte yellow background but both are lovely.

Sharri said...

What a gorgeous print. I am so envious that I'm not in the exchange. Sob. Boo hoo. It would be worth being in the exchange just to get this one print.

Debra James Percival said...

Absolutely gorgeous prints with and without background.

Carole Baker said...

Thank you everybody. I really appreciate your comments

Making A Mark said...

I love seeing people explain how they work - thanks for this - and for the tips

Carole Baker said...

Katherine, I hope it helps someone... there is so much to learn and remember with print making.