How toPrintmaking With Styrofoam Plates
20 steps
What you’ll need
Styrofoam Tray (optional)
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Scratch Foam (optional)
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Lid To Burnish (optional)
Water Based Ink (optional)
Brayer (optional)
Wooden Spoon To Burnish (optional)
Ink Tray
Paint (Tempera Or Acrylic -optional)
Foam Roller (optional)
Paper: 80 Lb White Sulfite Drawing Paper
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If already on hand, recycled styrofoam trays with edges cut off can be used for printmaking plates.
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Depending upon needs of your project, the flat tray bottom can be cut in to multiple smaller plates.
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Or scratch foam can be purchased specifically for printmaking projects. (Link on product page.)
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To begin, practice your drawing on paper. Then draw again directly into styrofoam or scratch foam.
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Look closely and go over your drawing lines again to make sure they are deep in all areas.
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Now you are ready to set up for your first print. A brayer is a special roller used to apply ink.
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This first example uses water based printing ink. Roll out ink on a tray or a piece of plexiglass.
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This is what your ink plate would look like if plexiglass or thin piece of acrylic.
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Now roll a thin ink coat over the plate. Roll up and down and side to side to cover evenly.
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Always set brayer down with the roller side up when not in use.
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Place paper on printing plate. Press down over entire plate using back of hand, a lid or a spoon.
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A second print taken without adding more ink to plate is called the “ghost”. Here it is still dark.
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Paints can also be used for making prints. With paint, a foam roller works best. This is tempera.
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Again press down or “burnish” with the back of your hand, a lid, a spoon or another flat object.
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Acrylic paint will work well, but it dries on plate very quickly so transfer to paper right away.
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Here’s what may happen if too much time goes by between inking plate and printing on paper.
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The “ghost” with acrylics - second print without adding paint to plate - will likely be very light.
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When done printing for the day, roll extra ink or paint on to scrap paper and wash brayers in sink.
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Once dry, these painted papers can be interesting to save for collage projects.
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Anything you can draw on paper, you can draw into styrofoam to make multiple prints!
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