Friday, March 16, 2012


I'm still working hard on my second-ever block print, so I don't have much to show for myself at this point (other than some scribble-y sketches and crinkled tracing paper). But while that's in the works, I thought I'd give you an update on my progress with the first block. I did a lot of experimenting with color this past week, and quickly realized that mixing ink is VERY different from mixing acrylics or oil paints.

After using plain, primary blue for my first set of prints (you can see how those turned out in my original post), I wanted to try something a little more adventurous. Inspired by all of the trendy spring pastels I keep seeing over at modcloth, I decided to create one coral set and one teal set.

Farnese Landscape (Green), block print. Copyright Joa Stenning 2012. 

Farnese Landscape (Coral), block print. Copyright Joa Stenning 2012. 

Without any white ink on hand, I tried to use yellow ink to lighten each mix as much as I possibly could. As you can see, that didn't work quite as well as I thought it would. Both colors are much more vivid than I intended them to be. The "coral" is basically just red, and the green one is more mossy than it is teal--which is fine, I actually like them quite a bit! They're just not quite what I expected.

I also made one set of mustard prints, which I absolutely love. Mustard is another one of those weird colors that's "on trend" right now, and I am definitely on the mustard bandwagon. In fact, I am driving the mustard bandwagon. I have mustard shoes, a mustard cardigan, and now, mustard landscapes:

Farnese Landscape (Mustard), block print. Copyright Joa Stenning 2012. 

In short, the lesson of the day is that printers' ink is not paint. The primary colors do not darken with blue or lighten with yellow as well as you might think, and no matter how dark the ink looks on the block it is always much brighter once it's been printed. I'm also not sure if I'm using the ink extender they gave me correctly, but that will be an exploration for the next set of prints. Questions? Comments? Advice? I'm open! Pin It


  1. Awesome!! These are even better than your first ones! And I'm loving the mustard!! :D

    1. Thank you!! :)
      I'm definitely pleased with the mustard, I might have to make a few more of those.