Wood Lithography (Mokulito) Prints with Watercolor
I’ve been experimenting with the use of watercolor to print full-color backgrounds on mokulito (wood lithography) prints. Applying tube watercolors directly to the wood plate for a second run through the press has yielded interesting, varied results.
The only traditional intaglio color inks I have are small samples from Hawthorn Stay Open inks (which are lovely). So I used them, along with watercolors, on this still life mokulito print.
Oil-Based Printmaking Ink
In this experimental still life of a cat next to a vase of flowers, I printed the mokulito wood litho print first, in a dark gray-brown pigment using traditional oil-based Hawthorn inks.
After the ink dried, I applied juicy, tube watercolors directly to the wood after swabbing the surface with a wet sponge. Next, I pressed the still-damp watercolor treated mokulito block against the previously printed Mokulito prints to see how much color would transfer.
If you’re new to this printmaking method, visit this post to read about the origins of mokulito, and the workshop I took to learn about the materials and process to try making these prints in a non-toxic approach.
Mokulito Printing from Acrylic Paint
Since the printable element on the wooden plate originates as a painting done in acrylics, I used a single, very bright color of Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic paint. The images I painted on the first few Mokulito plates were bright Magenta, borrowed from the generous Jeff Sippel. Now, I’ve acquired my very own tube of Cadmium Free Orange (like this).
The brightly-hued pigment makes it easier to gauge how much printmaking ink you’ve got rolled onto the plate. The build-up is done slowly, in many layers, alternating between a wet sponge and an ink-charged foam roller.
Pulling a Mokulito Print with Watercolor
If you’d like to read more about Wood Lithography, look at Danielle Creenaune’s essay about the process here. And if you know other helpful details about methods and materials online, please share them in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S. In case you’re more of a painter, and less interested in printmaking, take a look at my friend Carol Marine’s gallery for some exquisite paintings, creative inspiration, and a tickle towards your collecting urges.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.W.B. Yeats