Painting Linocut Prints with Watercolors
Hand Color Linocuts
If you print your linocuts and woodcuts with inks that won’t re-wet, you can have a lot of fun hand coloring your relief prints with watercolors.
Hand Colored Block Print Fun
If you printed a small edition of 5 linocut prints in black ink that dries permanently – after the ink is dry – you get to be a color wizard!
Break out your watercolors (or other media) and have a party adding color to the parts of your paper that are free of ink.
And here’s the best part: each print in the edition can be painted in different colors!
Start Small on Your Beginner Linocut Prints
If you’ve never made a linocut before, keep your design simple. Perhaps it’s best to start small too. You’ll use up less linoleum, less ink, less paper, and you’ll finish faster – which will spur you forward to make another linocut, and build your skills.
If you’ve already made lots of prints – and you have a folder or a drawer with old relief them, can I invite you to pour a beverage and have a look at them? Test the ink with a damp cotton swab to see if it re-wets. If the ink remains dry, and a swipe from a cotton swab comes away ink-free, you can paint that print. Bring on the color!
Check Your Inks First
This post reviews linocut design ideas, and details about what to look at in your ink-manufacturer’s particulars. It’s a good idea to read the fine print on your printmaking ink. Theres a big difference between water-wash up, and water-soluble, and water-based inks.
I hope you’ll revisit your drawer of linocut prints, and consider adding some color. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll get to adjust values, and add halftones to an art form that is primarily two values: black and white.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post!
P.S> This petite linocut is based on the likeness of Frida Kahlo. I’ve always thought her face was stunning, determined and strong. I’ve been inspired by her face – even more than her art. I’ve drawn, painted and made prints of her many times. (See below)