Wood Block Print: Step Four – Applying Ink

Posted on: September 27th, 2014
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The ink we use for relief printing is oil based. It is commercially made for offset lithography and has no driers added. It will stain your hands, so you may want to wear gloves. Using a spatula mix the desired colour. When scooping out colour, make sure that your spatula is clean, as you do not want to pollute the inks that everyone uses.


Select a roller that matches the size of your woodcut block. Draw a line of ink on the glass with the spatula and roll it out until it makes that perfect ‘sticky’ noise and is even.


Prior to applying ink you can seal your wood with a thin layer of matte medium. This is not absolutely necessary, but will reduce the amount of ink needed when rolling. It will also reduce wood grain. You can also sand the surface to any desired finish.

Roll the ink evenly onto the block, using different directions and re-charge the ink/roller as needed. All the wood/block should be thoroughly covered and even.


Categorised under: Woodcut