Block Printing

Block printing is an artistic and creative technique that has been used for centuries. It is a form of relief printing, meaning it uses raised surfaces in the block to create a two-dimensional design. Typically, block printing involves carving into wood, linoleum, rubber or other materials to produce the desired shape or pattern. Ink or paint is then evenly applied over the block onto fabric, paper or other items.

What colours are used in block printing?

Block printing is a form of art that dates back centuries and utilizes various elements to create intricate patterns. One significant element block printing requires is the use of colour; different hues can bring depth and energy to a block print design. In block printing, a wide range of colours can be used depending on the artist’s vision but earth tones such as yellow ochre, rust, terracotta and green are popular choices.

What paint is used for block printing?

Block printing is an ancient form of art and craft that is still popular in many parts of the world. Nearly any type of paint may be used for block printing, from the more traditional block printing dyes and pigments to modern acrylics and tempera; however, oil-based inks are the most recommended for block printing due to their durability and suitability for use with a variety of block printmaking techniques.

What are the benefits of block printing?

Block printing offers a wide variety of benefits to artists of all skill levels. The main benefit is that it enables you to create prints without having to create stencils - the only tool you need is a Nib Holder, which allows you to control the amount of ink and pressure when making designs. Block printing also has a unique texture that can bring extra life and a unique aesthetic to your artwork.

What surfaces can block printing be used on?

Block printing is a unique form of art, allowing you to transfer patterns and designs directly onto a surface. This popular technique can be used on a variety of different surfaces like wood, fabric and paper. 

How long does it take block printing to dry?

The length of time it takes for block printing to dry depends on many factors such as the kind of ink used and the type of paper being printed on. Blocks printed on paper using oil-based inks can take between 1-24 hours to dry depending on the thickness of the ink layer, while water-based inks typically dry much more quickly within minutes.


  • Firstly, always ensure your block is well prepared before you begin.
  • Dab the chosen surface with lukewarm water for a clean and even application.
  • Secondly, go easy on the pressure when you make your impressions - pressing down firmly might cause ink to spread unevenly leaving blemishes in its wake!

What art supplies will I need when block printing?

Block printing is an art medium loved by both novice and experienced artists alike. To get the most out of block printing, it is important to have the right supplies on hand.


  1. An artist will need wooden printing blocks, a linoleum cutter (for carving), and a variety of relief inks.
  2. For ease of use, printmaking ink made specifically for block printing can be purchased at your local craft store or online.
  3. A brayer (a rubbery roller) is necessary to roll ink evenly over the block and produce a smooth surface on the paper.
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