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Topic: Multi-colored lino print project - what inks to use?  (Read 2116 times)
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« on: March 15, 2010 09:50:34 AM »


I am currently working on lino prints for a class. I have three plates, and would like to use a different color with each plate. The professor works only in black and white, and apparently lino prints are not his forte. My question is: are there inks out there that are opaque and will not affect the colors layered over it? My base will be a dark blue, and the last overlying plate will be a light blue, and I am concerned about the light blue being changed by the underlying color. Any suggestions?

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010 12:11:48 AM »

When you say "plates" are you talking copper or zinc plates? Or are you just meaning different strips of linoleum?

I use speedball water based inks (you can find them at most craft stores) when I do Linoleum prints. As a rule of thumb, you want to think from your lightest color to your darkest, because the colors usually show through. You could always use more than one layer per color (ie run a  lt. blue pass, let it dry, then run another lt. blue pass on top). That might work, but then you're dealing with having to make sure that you lined everything up perfectly again for the extra pass. That can be tricky if you dont have a professional press. The rolling presses can be difficult to this with also. The other thing I would be concerned about is that you would then be double layering your ink, so the darker color doesnt show through. In theory it sounds good, but if you layer on too much ink on the linoleum, it spills out into areas you dont want it in while you are pressing it. With an extra run, you would have to watch out for this.

There are also oil based speedball inks, but I havent had a chance to use them yet. Oil paints tend to be more opaque, so the ink might be as well.....maybe. You would just have to try it I guess. But these can take days to dry. So you might want to consider how much time you have for this project. You can always speed up drying by overheating a room or your house, etc. But this adds extra money to the heat bill at the end of the month....

There are markers that you can use for linoleum printing also. I would ask someone at an art/craft store. You need to make sure that the ink in the marker is not fast drying. Otherwise  the ink will be dry by the time you go to print. However, with this method, I think you pretty much have to go lightest to darkest. But someone who works at a craft store, might have a better idea.

Hope that helps. Good luck. Let me know if you come up with a good way to do this. It would be convient to not have to think lightest to darkest all the time.

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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010 08:18:46 PM »

Yes, I was talking about linoleum strips. Thanks for your reply. I believe I will look into the oil-based inks, as drying time is not an issue in this case. But, I may also rethink the whole color theme... Hmmm...

Well, anyway, again, thanks so much for you reply!
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010 06:32:13 PM »

Are you doing three plates for one print, or are you doing a suicide cut (as in, printing one plate, carving away some of the plate, printing again over top, and so on)? Either way, as the person above me said, it is always helpful to think in terms of printing your lightest color first and your darkest color last. I use oil based inks a lot, and the thicker they are the longer they take to dry. Also, they are opaque, but the colors on the bottom will affect the colors that you lay over the top, especially in the case of oil based inks where the drying time is so extended.
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