Adding Watercolor to Woodcuts
Have you ever considered adding watercolor to your linocuts, and wood block prints? If you print in single colors, you can add full color to a block print after the ink dries. But it depends on the ink, so read on. See some examples of relief prints with watercolor added in this post, and this one.
Not All Inks can be Painted
One thing to be aware of if you use water-washable inks. Some of them dry nice and fast but they will re-wet if you try to paint them with watercolors – like Speedball Relief ink.
I’ve had great experiences printing with Akua Intaglio inks (listed below), thickened just a bit with MagMix to print relief blocks. They dry quickly, and will not re-wet.
A Note about Absorption
Be sure to use printmaking paper that doesn’t have external sizing, as it will prohibit drying. Akua inks need to absorb into the paper to dry. Many watercolor papers have both internal and external sizing.
The sizing helps hold watercolors in place so they don’t bleed all over the cotton fibers. Imagine painting a watercolor on a paper towel. You’d have no control over the placement of your pigments, since they’d travel through the cotton fibers. Sizing in watercolor paper holds the cotton together and blocks the pigments from sinking into the pulp, so your colors are illuminated from underneath with that bright, untouched paper.
Hand Colored Printmaking
I hope you give hand coloring your woodblock prints a try. It’s a beautiful way to make each print in your edition even more unique and customized. You can change your colors and lean your palette in a variety of pigments appropriate for moods, or seasons.
If you have any questions about painting your prints with watercolor, please leave a note in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!
Check the links below for a few of the art supplies I use frequently so you can experiment in the studio too:
Art Reference BooksColored Pencil Painting Bible http://amzn.to/1HZ9GhV Watercolor Painter’s Pocket Palette (great color mixing book) http://amzn.to/1TSFuwe Making Color Sing (great color mixing book) http://amzn.to/1KlFanX Painting the Things you Love (great watercolor glazing book) http://amzn.to/1KlFenX Breaking the Rules of Watercolor (older book, but still chock full of good lessons) http://amzn.to/1RSNuzG
Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy, to follow but not imitate, to praise but not flatter, and to lead but not manipulate.William Arthur Ward