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Inside Out – Lesson 3

The Museum has developed several lessons for use in conjunction with its on-line Collections.

Lesson 3 – Art Studio

All About You

An Introduction to the Relief Printmaking Project

Plan the image.”There are no musts in art, because art is free.”
– Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944

Wait! What is a relief print?
A relief print is any print in which ink is applied to a raised surface before printing to paper. Potato prints and rubber stamps are examples of relief prints.

This print will be an expression of who you are. It may include what you like, what is most important to you, or what special experiences you’ve had.

In this project you will:

  1. Transfer the image.
  2. Carve a design in sheet linoleum. What is cut away will remain white.
  3. Create an edition of five prints using the same linoleum block.

Additional Resources

Print Making Supplies

  • Soft graphite pencil
  • India ink, brush or thin-line permanent markers
  • Brayer
  • Baren or wooden spoon
  • Block printing Ink – Water or oil based (colors: black, magenta or alizarin crimson, phthalo blue, process or lemon yellow, white, earth colors – burnt sienna, umber or yellow ochre.)
  • Gouge: U and V shapes, various sizes
  • Linoleum square 8″ x 10″ *
  • Slab of glass for rolling ink with white paper underneath for rolling ink.
  • Paper on which to print, including variety of colors. 9″ x 12″
  • Drawing paper for planning ideas 8 1/2″ x 11″
  • Bench hook: a clamp used to keep the linoleum block in place while carving.
  • Alternative: Styrofoam sheets incised with a sharp pen or pencil can be used as an alternative to linoleum, however, it should be noted it is less durable and may not withstand repeated printing.

Printmaking Glossary

Artist Proof: (a/p) proof of works in progress, or a few finished proofs reserved for the use of the artist. Traditionally, artist proofs were used to edit the image before the artist approved it for final printing of the edition.

Baren: circular tool used for pressing paper onto a plate for hand printing.

Block Print: print made from wood, linoleum, or vinyl. This is a relief print.

Brayer: a roller for transferring ink to the plate for printing.

Edition: a series of prints from the same block or plate that are printed identically. For purposes of experimentation, you will create a series of five different prints from the same block.

Gouge: a tool for cutting a wood or linoleum block; V-shaped, U-shaped

Guidesheet: an inexpensive sheet of paper used to help with registration or alignment of paper for the printing process. (see Registration)

Inks: water-based or oil-based, generally the consistency of oil paint or thicker, applied to a relief print with a brayer.

Linocut: a relief print made when lines are cut into linoleum – the removed area remains white.

Plate: a basis for printing – can be a wooden or linoleum block, cardboard collagraph, or metal.

Proof: after an alteration is made to a plate, this single print is created to see if other changes are needed or if the plate is ready for final printing.

Reduction Block Print: one plate is printed several times, removing a portion and changing color each time. (working from lightest to darkest)

Registration: correctly aligning a printing plate with the paper when printing successive colors on the same sheet.

Relief Printing: originating in China, refers to any print in which ink is applied to a raised surface before printing on paper.

Slab of Glass: used for mixing inks; usually has white paper kept underneath to help artist see ink color and distribution more clearly.


Inside Out –  Lessons


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What People Are Saying

We came here in the recommendation of a worker at Yellowstone. The museum itself is beautiful, nestled into the hills outside Jackson. The art is stunning. Some feel almost like photographs. Highly recommended.

- Maureen S, Carlisle, PA

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