This summer I did a workshop with middle school students about the basics of relief printmaking. In order to demonstrate the basics, I had them draw on foam boards with a ball point pen (foam can be ordered from Dick Blick). The pen makes an indentation in the surface. Other objects can be pressed into the surface such as stamps, cookie cutters and round lids….
Next, the students colored in their drawings with basic school markers. The marker tends to bead up on the surface of the foam.
Using a brayer, we spread water based printing ink over the surface of the drawing. We used white ink. The marker and the printing ink did get a bit mixed. We thought this added interest to the print.
Once the foam was covered with printing ink (I used Speedball brand), we ‘dropped’ colored paper on the foam and burnished the surface using pressure from our hand. We then peeled the foam and paper apart.
This is a really easy method of creating a unique print. The foam boards can be re-inked and used over again. The work featured in this post was done by my workshop students.