In this Instructable I will be going step-by-step through the process of printmaking using a linoleum block. I will tell you what tools you need, and for what purpose and I will go through the process of designing the print in which you will be carving, transferring the design onto the block, carving the block, proofing the block and finally, printing the block. 

Linoleum block printing can seem very intimidating at first, but with a little guidance and the right tools, it's really a great new medium that all artists should give a try at least once. 

Step 1: The Tools of the Trade

There are many tools that are needed to complete a linoleum block print from start to finish. Although the tools can get a bit pricey, most of the tools that are needed can be reused again and again. Ink and paper are the only two supplies that you will need to continue to replenish over time.

Materials Needed:

• Pen, marker, pencil, colored pencil
• Linoleum block
• Paper
• Transfer paper
• Bench hook
• Lino Handle/lino cutters
• Printer’s ink (Oil Based)
• Brayer (ink roller)
• Tape
• Scissors
• Electric blanket and towel
• Spoon (or a Baren)
• Glass surface (plate or baking pan will do)

All of these tools can be bought at your local craft supplier. I bought a block printing kit at Michael's Arts and Crafts store, and this included all of the basic printmaking materials that are needed. Speedball Art is a great supplier for block printing supplies. They are affordable and of good quality, especially for a beginner. 
<p>Nice instructable! Take a look at the small printing press I made :-)</p>
<p>I haven't done a linocut since college. I've got my image drawn, I know how to do the transfer. My question is. I know there is an easier way to transfer the drawing using a solvent of some sort that will break down the ink onto the lino. block? Is that Acetone?? i.e.Where you put your image face down and taped (scanned in and printed) onto the lino block and then cover it with acetone? or is that for another type of printmaking? </p>
So sorry for the late reply! Im sure you have answered your question by now, but for anyone else who is wondering: You can transfer images using acetone. I've only done this on 100% wood blocks and not linoleum, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I would just be sure to use a simplified image. If there are a lot of grey tones, it might get confusing durning the carving process. So keep that in mind and maybe stick to bold outline photo transfers.
<p>Thankyou really good idea to transfer image, Louise</p>
Thank you! I'm always looking for ways to cut costs!
<p>Thank you for your clear instructions and definitions. I'm looking forward to learning how to block print!</p>
Thank you so much! Good luck on your first block! It's always the hardest and you will likely make a few mistakes, I know i did. Just remember that you can always turn mistakes into really awesome aspects of your print that you wouldn't have thought of otherwise! :)
<p>Can you use regular inkjet printer ink for block printing?</p>
<p>I wouldn't recommend it. The reason I use oil based ink is that as you are charging your roller and applying it to your block, the block tends to absorb the ink a bit, causing you to have to use more ink, especially the first time you try and apply the ink to the block. I'm not entirely sure if inkjet printer ink is oil based or an acrylic, and depending on that, it could become difficult to ink up your block, which can get really frustrating within itself. If you'd like to try it with the inkjet printer ink, I always encourage creativity and trying to find alternatives to traditional methods, however, I would recommend just going to your local craft store and picking up a small tube of oil based ink, or there are specific types of printing inks that are water soluble inks if you would prefer that. It's an investment that you won't regret and that will last you for quite awhile.</p><p> Here are some links to Amazon that are a rather good deals for small sets of printing inks:</p><p> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Speedball-Oil-based-Block-Printing-Starter/dp/B0027ACJBO/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1412856257&sr=1-1&keywords=oil+based+ink" rel="nofollow">Speedball Oil-based Block Printing Ink Starter Set</a></p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Speedball-Basic-Block-Printing-Ink/dp/B004PZ1ZJG/ref=pd_sbs_ac_20?ie=UTF8&refRID=0A3J2101097M6XT6V6YQ" rel="nofollow">Speedball Basic Block Printing 4 Ink Set</a></p><p>I hope this helps! Thank you for taking a look at my Instructable and I wish you all the best in your printing endeavors! :)</p>
Great work Angela. Your instructions are very clear and you've developed the steps in a very easy-to-follow manner. You also have great photos. That elephant design and print turned out absolutely beautiful!!!!
Gorgeous - and such patience! I love linoleum block printing, but it is so time consuming.
I did simple ones of these at college, couldn't get the tools to work in my favour, but yours is really good, i love the design it looks wicked. :)
This is fantastic. I love the elephant, too. :D
Thank you so much! It really means a lot that you enjoyed it! :D

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm Angela! I'm a student at Indiana University majoring in Art Education. My ultimate goal is to become a high school art teacher ... More »
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