Card printing is a simple inexpensive method of printmaking that can be used alone to make simple designs/images or combined with other printmaking or painting processes. The basic nature of this printmaking process allows it to be easily adapted and developed to create a range of results. It can be used as a bridge between drawing and printmaking.
- Card (provided) or cereal packets
- Ball-point pen
- Rollers x 2
- Wooden spoon
1. Draw your image/design on the white side of the card (when using a cereal packet, the printed side).
2. Add further marks to your image/design using a ball-point pen – pressing hard! This is important as the pen will create a groove that, when printed, will produce a negative line.
3. The next stage is cutting out the image/design. It is important to remember that the cut edge is itself a part of the design. You can either: faithfully follow your drawn lines; cut the card into a different shape around the image/design – or a combination of both.
4. Ink the card plate using a roller, taking care not to damage it, especially if your image/design has any intricate pieces. The ink does not necessarily have to be applied evenly; this is equally a part of the creative process as the initial drawing itself.
Note: At this point you can see the negative lines. Any that have filled in can be re-drawn using the ball-point pen.
5. With the ink side facing upwards, carefully place the paper on to the card plate. Hold in position with one hand whilst burnishing/rubbing the back of the paper. For this, a roller, wooden spoon or the ball-point pen can be used – each will produce a different result.
Note: Throughout this stage it is a good idea to have a look now and then, to check how the print is transferring, remembering to keep one hand holding the paper in position.
Further Information and Suggestions
o The weight of the paper that you choose to use can vary, bearing in mind that thicker paper requires more pressure when hand burnishing.
o Instead, or as well as the roller, a brush can be used to apply the ink to the card plate. The brush marks add another dynamic that works well as a foil to the cut edge of the plate.
Table top Print Projects have been written by the Rabley Drawing Centre tutors for Rabley printmakers. They are free for anyone to use and we have included useful supplier links. All images and texts are copyright of Rabley Drawing Centre CIC and the authors. We plan to launch have new project each Monday for the coming weeks.
More brilliant prints from Rabley Printmaking students – keep making and sharing!