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Dualities 4×7.5 Linocut with colored pencil  Sold

Available in my Etsy shop.
This linocut – Dualities – was an experiment in two parts; I printed white ink on a black background to reverse my usual carving approach & I wanted to see if white ink would be a fun base for layering colored pencils. Usually, my linocuts are printed with black ink on white paper so all the light spaces are carved out of the block. In this case, I carved away anything that was dark or in shadow, where the black paper would show through.  (Brain aerobics for the printmaker.) The colored pencil layered pretty well on the ink, but I had to wait for it to dry for 11 months. That’s not a typo –  and I’m not kidding. I know white inks tend to dry slow, and I should have thought about that, and added a drying agent. But I didn’t. The prints hung in my studio, drying in the desert air up here for weeks & weeks. Every once in awhile I’d swipe my pinky across a print, and get an inky finger tip, and groan. I couldn’t *wait* to lay some colored pencil on the prints, so this was a real lesson in patience. Do you think I’ll ever forget to add drying agent to white ink again?
The process shots start at the bottom of this post.

Dualities in scale
The block and the colored print
Adding some colored pencil to the print after the ink was dry
After carving more from the background to break up the white behind the figures
Pulling the first proof print
Side by Side block comparison for black ink
on white paper and white ink on black paper
The Dualities linocut before I carved more from the plate
A set of dental picks I found at a marine hardware store
Since I was carving the dark areas from the block, much the way you would for an intaglio print (an etching or engraving, etc.) I thought I might get some nice textures by cross-hatching and gouging the linoleum with a sharp point, so I used dental picks along the back ground and around some of the facial features. 
The block inked with white Akua Titanium Intaglio –
ready to print a test (proof) print
Tonal drawing with ink & sharpie on the linoleum to mark lights and darks

 Art Quote
In November 1864, a thirty six year old English painter named Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a friend of Whistler and Fantin-Latour, arrived in Paris for a short stay. Accompanied by his redheaded mistress and model, Fanny Cornforth, Rossetti rented a room in a hotel in the Rue Laffitte and then visited an exhibition of Delacroix’s paintings and did the rounds of the china shops. He also visited one of Delacroix’s favorite haunts, the Jardin des Plantes, a zoological garden on the Left Bank. It’s collection of beasts was only slightly more impressive than Rossetti’s own, since the painter’s house in Chelsea was home to a kangaroo, a raccoon, several peacocks, a wallaby, a chameleon, a gazelle, a woodcock, various monkeys and parakeets, a raven, an armadillo and (until it died after eating one of Rossetti’s cigars) a wombat. ~Ross King

Thanks for stopping by!

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2 thoughts on “Printing a White Linocut on Black Paper”

  1. @Sonia, Thanks for stopping by. Yes, waiting for the ink to dry was a marathon, and thanks for the compliment on my quirky little faces. Sine most of them are family or close friends, I get creative license (and permission) to experiment. The dental picks are great – and only $6 for the set. 🙂

  2. Quite a marathon and the white on black adds a different dimension. I’m always amazed at the “character” you manage to achieve in your faces, considering you are using lino and on such a small scale. Thanks for the dental pick tip -something else to add to my armoury of experimental tools!

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