Speedball Block Printing Ink – Black and Extender

Speedball Block Printing Ink is a great water-based ink for relief printing! We love the combination of black and extender to make beautiful grey tones, like this graduated moon, made using the rainbow roll technique!

Start by drawing your design onto a block. We are using a piece of Speedy Carve to create two blocks that will be printed one on top of the other but you could use any kind of relief block. We made a circle by drawing round a tape roll.

We also free-hand drew a tree silhouette. You could use red carbon paper or tracing paper to transfer a design instead.

When the design is ready, use cutting tools to carve the design. The fine V blade of this Speedball Cutting Tool is perfect for the edges of our tree.

The U blade is great for carving out larger areas of the block.

If you are creating smaller blocks like ours, you can use a scalpel to cut them out.

To create a black to grey rainbow roll, squeeze out a little Speedball Block Printing Ink in black and a little extender onto an Inking Plate. Use the width of your roller to judge the distance apart – we want the ink to be apart but not right on the edges of the roller. We are using a Speedball Soft Rubber Roller. The roller you are using should be slightly wider than the block you are inking.

Use the roller to draw the ink down in two stripes.

Gradually start to roll the roller up and down, picking it up and placing it very slightly to the left and right of centre. This will begin to let the two inks join in the middle where they will start to blend. Blend in this way until you like the look of the colour graduation.

Roll the ink onto the block, keeping it in the same direction all the time.

Place the inked up block face up. Use a piece of paper underneath as a guide for where to place your printing paper.

Place the printing paper on top of the block. We are using Hosho paper. Take the print by rubbing on the back of the paper with a baren, your hand or a spoon.

Peel away the paper to reveal the print! Speedball Block Printing Ink is water based which means it’s ready to print a second layer on top very quickly, especially in hot weather!

Ink up the second block. We are using a 1.5″ Deluxe Speedball Roller and inking up with Speedball Block Printing Ink in black.

Arrange the block ink side up on the registration paper.

Lay your first print over the top.

Take the print using a baren, your hand or a spoon.

Lift the paper to reveal your print!

Speedball Block Printing Ink is a great water-based ink for high quality prints that dry quickly. Clean up simply with cold water. The ink should wash away really easily. When using any water-based ink in hot weather, you may need to work more quickly and not roll out too much ink in one go.

We have an exciting giveaway of these inks in black and extender – grab your free tube while stocks last!

For this project you will need: