Beginner's Guide To Block Printing Patterns: Part 2 | Jeslyn Sebold | Skillshare

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Beginner's Guide To Block Printing Patterns: Part 2

teacher avatar Jeslyn Sebold

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Mirror Repeat - Sketch

    • 3. Mirror Repeat - Test & Transfer

    • 4. Mirror Repeat - Carve

    • 5. Mirror Repeat - Print

    • 6. Scatter Repeat - Sketch

    • 7. Scatter Repeat - Test

    • 8. Scatter Repeat - Transfer

    • 9. Scatter Repeat - Carve

    • 10. Scatter Repeat - Print

    • 11. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Learn how to create two different pattern designs by following these simple steps!

Step 1: Design your pattern using large, medium, and small icons

Step 2: Test your pattern

Step 3: Transfer your pattern design to your linoleum block

Step 4: Carve and print your final pattern.

Step 5: Add your project to the class.


If you haven't watched Beginner's Guide To Block Printing Patterns: Part 1 you can watch it by clicking the link. It's a great way to get started creating block print patterns and goes over some fundamental steps that aren't covered in this class.


Meet Your Teacher


Hi there! I'm Jeslyn, an independent illustrator from Florida. I love to create whimsical artwork that captures emotion. My work is characterized by multiple layers of color and texture.


I am passionate about incorporate printmaking techniques into all of my work. It helps me create those layers of texture and detail all while giving me the space to experiment.  If you'd like to some of my work, check out my website at


In my classes, I will be sharing the basic techniques for pulling prints and what to do with them so you can use them as building blocks to incorporate into your own artwork.


I am looking forward to getting to know you and helping you on your journey to becoming a... See full profile

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1. Intro: Welcome back for another round of pattern xi1. I'm just Lynn, freelance illustrator and print maker here. To guide you see this adventure of leveling up your pattern design so you can really impress in case you're just joining us. This is part two of the beginner's guide to block printing repeat patterns. This is going to be the final class in the series. But if you haven't watched the first-class yet, I would highly recommend you do that before tackling didn't line in this class. For this class, we're going to be skipping through those brainstorming in the sketching phases since it's a continuation of Part one. If you'd like to skip part one, that's totally fine, but you're still going to need some sketches to work from. So I would recommend taking a minute to pause this particular video and go back and watch the sketchier Ideas section of the Part one from this class, then come back and we can get printing. 2. Mirror Repeat - Sketch: the first thing I'm going to do is measure my block. I want to create a design that only takes up half a space that will have enough room to flip it horizontally than 1/2 will near the other next all measure piece of tracing papers . That's the same size of my block, and I'm gonna leave at least 1/2 inch border on the top and on one side so I can wrap it around the block in two ways and secure it with masking tape painter's tape. Then I've created a center line going down the rectangle or square. That's where you're using that you've measured as a reminder that you only have to throw up half of your space. We're gonna be using tracing paper for a few reasons. First, it's really great for transferring your final design to your block. Second, tracing paper isn't precious, so if you need to start over, cut something away and replace it, you can do it, create easily. Before you start doing away, you're gonna want to go back and look at the page of icons you designed during the brainstorming phase of the first class, using those as inspiration. Start your pattern off by choosing a few large scale icons to quickly fill in your space. I've loosely sketched in some large oval shapes to get an idea of how big I want the largest icons to be. It helps me to visualize what the icons will need to look like before taking a lot of time to draw them out. I highly recommend this stuff. When you're designing a mere repeat pattern, it will help keep you from having to redesign over and over again. Once I have my basic shapes where I think I want them. I'm going to spend more time drawing the actual icons in when you're drawing. Be careful not to touch the line that splits your design space in half. This will create really strange tangents in your design when you mirror it later, The tale of the sleeping box and my design is super close to the edge. Probably it wasn't the best idea, and who wouldn't recommend going any closer than that? I pretty much cut it as close as you can when you finish adding the largest icons sketching some medium ones. Medium sized icons are also good for filling space quickly and can add dimension to your design. Think about adding things that complement your large icons and make sure to scatter them all over your designed to keep it balanced. Finally, as many small icons as you like to make your pattern look full but not overcrowded again, I prefer to sketch them in a simple shapes first and then go back and take the time to draw each individual icon. I want to make sure the spacing works about spending too much time adding details. - Now that you're designed spaces filled, you can take those moments to go back and add those details that we've been holding back on . Remember, don't go overboard because you're gonna be carbon use out of your block leader. However, it's nice to have a little bit of detail on the largest icons. It's a personal opinion, but it ends up looking really nice. Give your design one less look before committing to the next step. Is any part of your design touching the edges? If so, take your time and scooted around. Now does your design with balanced doesn't need any more larger media. My constant fill the space do you feel confident that you can carve this design? That's probably the most important question for you to say yes to. If you're thinking maybe not, then take a minute to figure out why and redesign. And now, instead of finding with your block leader Okay, you look things over and you're feeling good now, right? Awesome. Let's move on to transfer your design. 3. Mirror Repeat - Test & Transfer: before it turns for my final designed to my block, I want to make sure my pattern looks the way I want it. Teoh, For this reason, I took the time to create two photocopies using black and white printer to create two copies that married each other. I simply laid the tracing paper down one way and then flipped it over to achieve the opposite side. I recommend doing this to check your work before you take all that time to carve and print your design. Cut your prints down the size and you Scotch tape to stick them together. So you can really look at the details. Ask yourself, Is there anything overlapping here that shouldn't be? Are any of the negative space is making strange shapes that I didn't expect or want? Set yourself up for success by taking the time to check your work. Now, once I'm satisfied that my pattern lines up properly, I'm going to get to work, transferring it to my block. First, I take the time to carefully line my tracing paper up based down along the left edge in the top of my block. Then I take it firmly in place you can see I love some space at the top of my tracing paper to create a flat that can be folded over and take easily to the back of my Leno block. When the top is secure, I can pull my paper tight and add extra Tate to make sure it doesn't slide around. While I trace, I recommend using a number two pencil when tracing your mirror repeat pattern. The reason for this is because when you finish tracing the first side, you're gonna need to foot the tracing paper over and use it again to trace the other side. There's some tips for this user. Regular yellow pencil You know the kind you used to use in school, or you can use a really good drawing pencil. That way, you don't accidentally rip ear paper when you're going over your lines. As tempting as it is to use a mechanical pencil for this job, avoid it. There's so sharp they often rib right through the tracing paper before you get a chance to finish your design. Do keep a sharpener handy because it's a lot easier to work with a sharpened pencil than a nub, so make sure your lines are nice and dark on your tracing paper when you're finished. This will make tracing the other side of your design much easier. And last but not least, lift the corner of your tracing paper regularly is you can make sure you can see the lines transferring over. It's not fun to trace all of your lines, only to discover none of them transferred. When you're finished tracing the first out of your pattern, flip your tracing paper over so the side you just trace is now facing the block and line up your edges on the opposite side. Take everything back in place so it won't site around on you and trace the other side. - When you're finished transferring your lines and pencil, I highly recommend taking the extra time to go over them with a fine tip. Sharpie Sharpie has been a very reliable Inc that holds up no matter how many layers I print. Although this is only going to be a one color print, the pattern is detailed enough to wear all struggle without my Mac. So I traced over everything before I start carving, using Sharpie to go over my lines. Also gives me one last chance to sneak in any extra details. I was too distracted or lazy to add with my pencil. Since this is a mirror repeat pattern, just make sure anything you add spontaneously on one side with your Sharpie gets added to the other side as well. Good luck, guys. See you for carving. 4. Mirror Repeat - Carve: I chose to carve this pattern in the negative, which means I leave all the negative spaces around each of my shapes and choose instead to focus on carving on lee the shapes I have drawn. If you're a beginner or if you're in a rush to finish a design, this is often the best way to go. It's quicker to carve this way, and it gives you the chance to learn what each one of your tools conduce. Oh, however, carving a pattern in this way can be limiting when it comes to the final printing stage. Patterns carved in the negative are more restrictive when it comes to color. Ah, one color print will always look like a one color print. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you want more freedom to play with your colors during the printing phase, take the extra time to carve your print. In the positive, we'll talk more about positive prints. When we Carver scatter Pattern leader, you can see When I first started carving this pattern, I tried to carve one side and immediately carved the same shape on the other side. This approach was really challenging for me, so I abandoned it after carbon the first few shapes and instead focused on carving all the shapes on one side before tackling the other side. It felt more organized for me to do it this way and allowed for me to include more spontaneous marks, my tools on the first side and then have reference to match on the other. This is the method that worked for me. But you should experiment and see what method works the best for you. Once I'm finished carving, I can clean out my area and get ready for printing. 5. Mirror Repeat - Print: The first thing I want to do is mix my EQ for this print. I'm gonna keep it simple and use red straight out of the 10. Red is a little bit translucent, so if you're thinking of using red, it might be wise to makes a smidge of white in with it. Although I forgot to do this with my own ink, I was just too anxious to get started before creating an inkwell. Take a moment to play with your ink to warm it up. This will give you more even coverage across your block, which will result in a nicer print. Then create your inkwell and start working your Breyer. When working to link up your Breyer, begin by placing it down in the inkwell and then drag a snooze line down your palate at the edge of your pallet lifter Breyer up and return it to the ink. Well, you're gonna want to repeat this stuff five or six times, or until you're Breyer is evenly coated with a layer of ink and only makes a soft Velcro sound when you pull it through the ink. Once that happens, you're ready to start thinking your block to roll your block, take your loaded Breyer and roll it up and down your block vertically until it's totally covered. I had to re ink my Brera the end, because I ran out of ink on the left side. But you might not. Either way, when you're finished, rolling your block vertically, Rian, cure Breyer and then roll it up and down your block horizontally. This should result in a nice, even cover that will give you an awesome print. You can tell when you're block is evenly covered. When it doesn't have any streaks that show from the rolling of the Breyer back and forth, it will look like your linoleum block is a solid color. Once that happens, you're ready to pull your print. I'm using white bulletin board paper to pull my print because it's my intention to use. It is wrapping paper Bulletin board Paper comes in so many different colors, and you can order it off Amazon pretty easily. If you're a little bit more old school, you can get roles from Office Depot or Staples. Both these places have pretty good prices and a pretty good collection of them. Also, you can pick them up in a pinch instead of waiting for three days for it to be delivered. This paper is inexpensive, and it's effective to pull prints over a large area without breaking the bank. Hello, Christmas paper. When I start to pull my prince, I always started the bottom left corner. It's easier for me to line my prenup across my paper if I start in the corner where I know it's properly vertical and horizontal versus in the center, where I would need to measure to ensure my block is straight before moving on. If you choose to start in the center, that's fine. Just make sure it's perfectly straight or you're going to have a diagonal pattern I have found. When I print patterns, it's much easier to print with the linoleum block on top versus the paper on top and a traditional print. It's easier to line up my pattern as ago. But it does pose some problems, the main one being that the block has less contact with the paper, so you have to use more pressure from your body to pull your print toe. Overcome this issue. I recommend standing and using your body weight to press down on the barren as you move it across your block is a pretty great workout, too. You'll find as you put your pattern across each row, that the color is Mayberry. This maybe from using slightly less pressure or more pressure, or from not using enough ink whenever you re in Q block. No matter what, the very first print you're gonna pull will be the lightest because you don't yet have that patina of ink built up on your block. That's okay. That just gives your pattern that handmade feel keep going. 6. Scatter Repeat - Sketch: The scatter pattern is the most time-consuming and complicated pattern we're going to tackle in this class series. To draw your scatter pattern first choose the size of your linoleum block. I chose a block that's four inches by six inches. Then cut a piece of drawing paper to match the size of the lego block you chose, like you see here. Once you've cut your paper to size, you're ready to get started. To create your scatter pattern, chooses many icons as you like and fill the space with them without any of your drawings touching the edges of your paper. This is gonna make sense in just a few minutes, bear with me. I chose to keep my scatter pattern limited to vine shapes. I like using organic shapes like this to create scatter patterns because they become versatile backgrounds. And many of my illustrations, as I'm drawing, I'm thinking of ways to keep my shapes interesting. I'm contemplating things such as thick and thin, sharpen smooth, as big and small. Each fine will be a combination of thick and thin with different sizes of curved shooting off of a main stem. This gives me a lot of room to be spontaneous and playful as I draw. I'm not worrying too much about the fact that the string will become part of a pattern. Yet I'm just trying to fill the space in a way that's attractive to me. Don't spend any time thinking about how to hide you repeat, or what your final pattern is going to look like right now. Just fill all your space on your paper in a way that looks pleasing to you. Once you have filled your paper with icons, go back and double-check that nothing runs off the edge. You want everything contained in your drawing space. Then you're ready for the fun part. Grab a pair of scissors and some scotch tape folder Drawing in half and then cut it along the fold, then swap them so the bottom of your drawing becomes the top and vice versa. Once you swap them, take them in place with scotch tape. I like to take my drawing on the backside because we're gonna be adding to this drawing before it's all said and done. And drawing over scotch tape can be a slippery business. However, do what works for you. When you're done taping everything in place this first round, fold it the opposite way. So in my case, long ways and cut your drawing in half again. Then swap the two sides. So the right becomes the left and vice versa. Then tape it in place. Again. What you are left with is going to be your repeat pattern. The center of your pattern was once the edges of your paper. So it's going to look a little bit empty. That was intentional. Don't worry. Now is the time to fill that space, fill it in with as little or as much as you like. Then you're finally ready to test it and transfer it to your block. 7. Scatter Repeat - Test: if you don't test any other pattern, I strongly encourage you to take a minute to test this one. Of all the patterns we have printed together, this one is the most complex and the most important one to test. I will be testing this pattern using three photocopies and the original. First, make your copies and then cut them all down to size. So you aren't fumbling around with full sheets of paper, then lay everything out in a block. So to pattern pieces at the top and two at the bottom, lime up is accurately as you can and take them if you need to. You want to make sure all of your lines match up on the bottom and the top of your pattern . If they do, move on to double check your sides to make sure that all the lines on your sides match up with each other as well. By lines, I mean the lines of your drawing so that your objects match up and look like objects. Depending on how complex you've made your pattern. This is going to take you time. If you're pattern matches up, Excellent. If not, take a step back and look carefully at your original sketch. Is it taped? Is accurately as you can get it. Did you fold the pattern in half from top to bottom? First tape it and then fold it from side to side and tape it again. If not, carefully cut your pattern apart and try it again. 8. Scatter Repeat - Transfer: Once I have finished testing my pattern to make sure it repeats the way I envisioned, I'm ready to transfer the design to my linoleum block. The first step I recommend you take is to cut a piece of tracing paper the same width as your pattern design. Make sure however, it's longer than your block so you can fold it over to the backside insecurity in place with tape. Double-check to make sure it works the way you want it to. Then lended up with your sketch so you can start to trace it. I always take everything in place because it is so frustrating when something shifts in the middle of tracing or drawing. When that happens, I struggled to get it back in place correctly in it takes me so much extra time when everything is taped in place and you're satisfied that it's lined up correctly, carefully trace all of your lines. When tracing, I like to move methodically across the page from right to left, top to bottom. This helps ensure that I've traced everything I need to in one area before I move on. Also because I'm left-handed, it helps minimize smearing the graphite across the paper and transferring it onto my hand. I recommend using a number two pencil or drawing pencil that B or to be the graphite in these pencils is softer and we'll give you a darker line to work with. This will come in handy when you're tracing your lines onto your block later on. Harder LEDS like H or H B transfer only very lightly and can be hard to see tracing length. This is also a good opportunity to take a last look at your sketch to make sure it's exactly where you want. It. Is some of your shapes got funky or you want to add more detail somewhere. You can easily incorporate those things onto the tracing paper without having to start over on brand new sketch. That's another reason I really like transferring in this old school way. It gives me the chance to revisit my drawing a few times before committing to the carving and printing phases. When you're finished tracing, remove the tape and your sketch from your work area, replace it with year linoleum block and take the tracing paper flat to the backside. Make sure your traced pattern is graphite side down. So it will look backwards and make sure your pattern is line up as perfectly as you can get it. I can't stress this enough. If your pattern transfer is slightly skewed, it's not going to repeat correctly when you print it. When your satisfied take a small piece of tape and tape it to the front side near the bottom and pull the paper tight across the block. This is gonna give you the best contact when you're transferring. And again, keep anything for moving around. For this job, you can use a number two pencil again, or you can use a B or an HB pencil. The slightly harder led and the H pencils is helpful for really pushing that graphite onto your block. As you work carefully lift the corners of your tracing paper to make sure your lines are transferring the way you want them to. If they're too light, you can slip a piece of transfer paper in between the tracing paper layer and the linoleum block. You can also use a to B or a 3V pencil to go over your trace lines again, for a darker transfer is up to you. However you want to tackle this, you just want to make sure that you have a clear map before you start carving. If you're not using a piece of transfer paper in between your layers, you need to make sure you are tracing precisely over your pencil lines that you already created. If you don't, the lines aren't gonna transfer over to your block. After you're finished transferring your lines and pencil, I highly recommend you take the time to trace them again in sharpie, your lines, especially the ones at the edges, have got to be precise in order for your pattern to repeat seamlessly. For this pattern, I laid the tracing paper next to me to double-check my lines, especially along those edges. The pencil transfer method is never perfect, but I want this to be as close as possible. 9. Scatter Repeat - Carve: congratulations. You're now ready to carve all that work. Drawing, testing and transferring has led up to this moment. This is your chance to bring your pattern toe life. I'm gonna carve this pattern differently than I have advised in previous classes. This method focuses on clearing out large spaces, even if it means I have to switch my tools back and forth multiple times to prepare. I've laid all my tools nearby, and I switched them out frequently. As I carve. This method of carving is slower than using one tool at a time because I sometimes have to switch my tools multiple times and then constantly making decisions about which is the best tool to use. Instead of focusing on using just one at a time to do all of the work it can possibly do before switching it out, it can feel more natural and satisfying to carve this way. Although it is slower, it makes sense for me to carve this particular pattern this way, because majority of my carving is going to be focused on clearing away the linoleum that surrounds each one of my vine shapes. I'm going to save carving the details inside of the vines and leaves for last. When carving a pattern in the positive, which means I'm carving away all of the negative space around my objects that will be white or whatever color my paper is, it can seem daunting. It is a lot more work to carve carefully around shapes than it is to dig out the lines with the V shaped couch. However, I really prefer the freedom it provides later when printing positive patterns can sometimes appear to be multicolored patterns because it's so easy to change the color of the background or even the color of the shapes your printing on the fly. This is something to think about when you're creating your pattern. Although a negative pattern is much less time consuming to carve, the applications are more limited, as you saw in the mirror pattern design. Yeah. Oh, I have finished carbon way all of the spaces around my vines. I'm ready to add in the details because I want to be very careful to keep my gouges from slipping. When I carved, I first used my knife tool to carp outlines into each one of my leave shapes before I dig them out with my gouges. This provides me a sort of barrier that makes the likelihood of carving through one of my leaves less likely. It can still happen if I'm not gentle when I carved, but it helps minimize my risk. Any time you're carving delicate details like this, I urge you to consider taking the time. Outline your shapes with your knife tool First, you'll get a much cleaner line in the end, and you'll have less of a chance of carving through something you really wanted to keep intact. There. Once I'm finished carving the lines, I'm ready to use my V shaped gouge to carbon all the rest of the details on my vines and get printing. 10. Scatter Repeat - Print: I premix the color for this print because I tended the sheets of paper I'm going to be printing on. I used a lighter shade of the color you see here to get rid of my white background but still have subtlety in my final design. I want to use this pattern is background and illustrations later, and I'm keeping this in mind as I choose my colors before spreading your ink for your Breyer, mix it with a palette knife to warm it up. It will get looser as you mix it, and it will be easier to move around. This will give your Brera more even coating of ink and make for more uniform prints. When you start to roll your ink, drag it down from the inkwell you created. Make sure you lift the Breyer off the surface before returning to drag more down after you covered your roller by dragging your ain't down from the well, continue to roll it back and forth back and forth over that patch of ink you created. You want it to sound soft like Velcro and only have tiny pinks of ink when you lift your prayer off of the surface once you're Inc is a consistency I've described. You're ready to link up your plate. Then you can layer block, face down onto your paper and press it using a baron. The Baron I'm using is carved out of wood. I really like this barren because it gives me even pressure when I'm pressing my print. And it's much easier to use on the backside of a linoleum block than most conventional Barron's. When pressing your print from the linoleum blocks side, my contact with the paper is less pronounced than if I were to flip the whole thing over and press from the paper side. This means I need to use a lot of pressure with my Baron. I'm pressing as hard as I can from my shoulder, and I'm leaning my body weight into this print. I'm gonna do this every time I press the block. I'm also making sure to cover the entire area of my block that's pressed against the paper to ensure I can get the most defying print possible by hand. When you remove your block, you should have the start of your pattern. I recommend starting your print on one side and moving slowly to the other side rather than starting in the centre and trying to fill in your space around it. That can get really messy really fast. Now I've inked my block a second time, and I'm lining it up carefully at the top of the first pattern block I pulled. I'm trying to be as accurate as possible so that my design looks seamless when it's complete. This might take some fiddling. Something I recommend doing is just laying the block very lightly on your paper and shifting it around until everything lines up. Then press it down firmly and start transferring the ink to the paper, right. I'm pleased with how that turned out. Now I'm ready to fill my page with this pattern. I've spent up the rest of this videos that you can see the process and the final product more quickly and efficiently Notice. I always print the bottom row first and then follow with the top row. However, you choose to pull your print, finding consistent rhythm so you don't lose your place. Not I can step back and see that my pattern is pretty seamless. I wish I had a little more contact in the middle row because it came out a bit light. But overall, I'm happy with this result and will print a few more to say for later. 11. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you did the thing. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn new skills or grow skills you already have. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to come learn how to print patterns with me. I hope you found the information this class useful and that you feel inspired to take the next step to create your own pattern and share it on the projects and resources page. This will give everybody a chance to see your work and it'll give me the chance to give you some feedback. And if you'd like to keep in touch or to know when my next class comes out. You can find me on Instagram at just when Kate or right here on skill share. All you have to do is press the button right above this video. See, there it is. Now it's your turn to create some prints. I can't wait to see what you got.