Picture of Linoleum Block / Printmaking
A.BOPP Lino.jpg
Raw Block.jpg
Anthony Bopp Spring 2008 002.jpg
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PRINT ON Canvas.jpg
Please Rate my "Instructable"- Enjoy the World of Printmaking!

"Linocut" is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The cut areas can then be pulled from the backing. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller or (called a brayer), and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a press

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Rubber Roller.jpg

Pen, Marker, Pencil
Linoleum block (linoleum glued to a block of wood)
Wooden boards and screws
Tracing Paper
Transfer Paper
Linoleum-cutting tool
Printers ink
Electric Blanket and Towel (Linoleum is easier to cut when warm)
Rubber Gloves
X-acto Knives
Blue Painters Tape
Light Box
MIneral Spirits
Vegetable Oil
Wooden Spoon

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Its beautiful!

cpesacreta1 year ago

you shouldn't use expensive woodcarving or engraving tools on linoleum. the lino cuts easy enough but the material actually dulls blades faster. A high quality set of tools is meant to last for decades, and they will if used with wood, so don't throw money away by carving linoleum with it. the only things you need to carve lino are a basic speedball handle set, a x-acto (and a ton of replacement blades, as you should be changing them often), and maybe a drypoint needle. when the speedball blade gets too dull (should take a long while to get to that point), throw it out and buy a replacement. with these basic tools, and a steady hand (it takes practice), you can make any mark an expensive tool could.

hvroonland1 year ago
Can you please tell me how to print my linoleum block on a Tshirt! I have tried everything I could think of but it never comes out in a solid print. Please help!!

usually just applying more pressure evenly will help, or using more ink. try to get the shirt spread out evenly with like a piece of cardboard, ink up the block, lay it down on the shirt, then [if it's unmounted lino] lay something flat and sturdy (I typically use a sheet of plywood on top of it. I find just standing on top of that, and making sure to press down in several different areas, usually results in a pretty even image. I've also found that using a spray bottle to mist the shirt till it's just slightly moist can sometimes help the ink bind to the shirt.

where shall I get Linoleum block?? Shall I get these from any wood shop? please give me the answer.
Omg I love your post! Thank you for sharing this.
Wicked good! Loved it... I have some experience but you nailed everything perfectly. Thanks for taking the time and your graphics are the bomb!
aprintmaker2 years ago
Nice stuff, always fun seeing others work and tips. I am also a paper on top printmaker, and I use my hand as the press after trying many other tools I find that the good old press down finger and slowly swirl outwards method is best for me.
dcullen23 years ago
Thanks so much for this. The two most useful tips I took from this that I haven't seen elsewhere - keep the block stationary and place the paper on top. I was doing it the other way with much worse results. Also - using the back of a wooden spoon to press the paper down - genius. Works like a charm. Who needs a printing press.

Thanks again.
Hudson Hill (author)  dcullen23 years ago
Thank you for the kind words glad I could help. If you have an extra moment post a photo so I can see your final product. Good luck, If you really want to get away from the press and get tired of the wooden spoon run the print/block over with your car.


Haha, I'll bear that in mind. Here's the print. First one since high school! The rest of my work is up here:

sonhja5 years ago
I have a very hard time using transfer paper Is there any more tip's you can share? Love your how to.
Preistt sonhja3 years ago
I usually rub the back of my printout with a large piece of graphite I got at the local arts store. Then, I use the printed sheet as a transfer paper, as the graphite will move to the lino when the image is traced.
Hudson Hill (author)  sonhja5 years ago
Sorry it kinda took so long to get back to you. As far as know you should make sure you keep it taped down very well this helps the paper from ripping
There is transfer paper you can run through your printer (!) that can be used over and over - look around this site, it sells it for about $4/pkg. I have not tried it but I know I will.
Jafafa Hots3 years ago
A couple of ideas.
First, for correcting mistakes, try JB Weld. An easy mix epoxy, cheap at any hardware and auto supply store, and can be sanded. Could be used to fill in mistakes.

Second - for transferring images that don't have fine detail, print backwards on a laser printer, place face down on the lino and and use a blender marker from the art store on the back, will transfer the toner to the lino very quickly and easily.

Acetone will also work, may work even better for finer detail, but is messier, more of an outdoor job.

Lastly, for softening for carving, try a heat gun very very very carefully (they get HOT) or a hair dryer (not as hot).
Hudson Hill (author)  Jafafa Hots3 years ago
Thanks for the tips!
dotbinmo4 years ago
WOW! grest pieces!
Your tutorial is great, too.

(Big difference from when I was in 5th grade...the teacher came in with a stack of ready-made linoleum blocks, a simple v knife , and a very simple, a few lines drawn-on the linoleum pic for us to "carve" with supervision/assistance of her or the aides...then we used a brayer to spread paint on it, turned it on paper, and volia!...prints!
BUT... for a kid it was fun.
They let us keep the print, but collected the blocks)
Hudson Hill (author) 4 years ago
mj774 years ago
The prints are amazing.. but the blocks are even more beautiful in their own right! Great work and very inspiring!
mikoto4 years ago
Amazing detail! I am very impressed with how clean your prints are. There is definitely a lot of patience in your work. I just love finding new media to work with. You have my vote and piqued my interest in a new project.
Thank for the great Instructable.
Hudson Hill (author)  mikoto4 years ago
Thanks for your kind words.

nickodemus4 years ago
Great 'ible, but what's with the publish date? It says it was published today, but some of the comments are from at least 2009.
Thousand5 years ago
 Great Work! Do you have any prints for sale?
erronius5 years ago
What gorgeous, elaborate work!

In grade school we just threw the linoleum in an oven for a few minutes to heat it up (but your electric blanket innovation sounds friendlier).  A towel or pot holder is a good idea if the linoleum gets too warm to handle.  Note that some linoleum comes already mounted on a wooden block.  If the block is particle board, it may give off nasty fumes, like formaldehyde, when heated; so either work in a well-ventilated area or stick to unmounted linoleum.

thanks for all of the good, detailed information and memory joggers!

keep doing such great work!
gotclaws195 years ago
Very good Guide. However on the clean up, Simple Green is very bad for you.
DIYDragon5 years ago
I remember doing these a long time ago in elementary school. but we only did single color prints. Would be interested in seeing your tips for multi-colored work. I might make something nifty with that. : D
static5 years ago
I boogied on over to you tube to look for any demos that might be there, there isn't anything worth being called a demo pleas consider video recording some demos. thanks...
Speedmite5 years ago
These are cool. Made a small one in like the 3rd grade. It sucked but it was fun. Gifted and talented art has a few good twists. I forgot if I cut my finger a little or if my friend did.....(mind straining)............I think it was me. Well I dont remeber for sure but i remember somone getting a minor cut. Oh well.......
benz_z5 years ago
urs are amazing this stuff hurts i have scars from when i did one of bob marley just last semester person in my class had to go to the hospital and get stiches but that was cause the tools were dull and our school thought it was better to get a press instead of betting decent curved knifes
well, my school thought it better to remodel half of it than to buy computers capable of loading faster than three minutes.
rgsquared5 years ago
wow-beautiful work! Thanks for taking it through step-by-step. I love doing lino work, and have never taken a class on it. Your clue of the contact paper was key to my success in my current lino block stuff. I'll upload pics when I get them done. Again, Thanks! This art form is very beautiful to me. Rachel
jtobako5 years ago
Sharpening gouges?
Sooz jtobako5 years ago
It's the type of cutting tool from which the action of gouging is derived. :)
jtobako Sooz5 years ago
Sharpening (v), as in 'how to' as it's an important part of the instructable that is missing.
bethmwl5 years ago
Fantastic artwork, you should do an instructable for the skeleton face!
skachati5 years ago
you are very good master... thanks
kyannik5 years ago
I've always wanted to give this a try. Your work is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!
locofocos5 years ago
Nice instructable! I did this in art class a few years ago. I will go ahead and say that doing a multiple color linoleum block print is rather difficult during the cutting and during the printing process.
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