Class Title: Block Printing - Create Prints With Craft Foam | Jeslyn Sebold | Skillshare

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Class Title: Block Printing - Create Prints With Craft Foam

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

8 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Gathering Materials

    • 3. Design

    • 4. Transfer

    • 5. Cut It Out

    • 6. Stabilize It

    • 7. Time to Print

    • 8. Your Turn

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About This Class

Learn how to use inexpensive craft foam to create beautiful prints! If you are interested in trying out printing techniques; but are on the fence about investing in all the supplies needed, this class is perfect for you!  

This class will focus on mastering this simple technique by breaking it down into simple steps:

--Where to find the basic, inexpensive supplies needed

--How to draw and easily transfer a simple image to foam

--Cutting out the design

--Printing the design

By the end, you will feel confident to take on your own print that can stand on its own or become part of a more intricate piece of art.

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: Hi, I am just Lynn. I am an illustrator using for making as a media of expression. I love printmaking because you can use it in a variety of ways to build layers or colors, and it really is capable of achieving a great amount of detail. One of the ways that I really like to pull prints is using just everyday craft phone that you could buy at your local art supply store. It's expensive, and it's a great way if you're just dipping your toes in the water and you don't want to purchase all of the expensive materials and thanks to pull linoleum block prints or wood block prints. So join me in the step by step process as I show you how to create a print inspired by local beekeepers that sell their honey at farmers market. One of the ways that I really like to get inspiration is getting away from the computer and getting out into the community so I would encourage you to go to your local grocery store or your local farmers market and find something natural that inspires you for your project . I hope you join me on this dirty as we walk through, start to finish how to pull this print. So when it's your turn, you'll feel confident in following all the steps and creating something that you're really proud of. I'm looking forward to seeing you there. 2. Gathering Materials: all right, so the basic supplies you're going to need to complete this project include Kraft film that you can get at any local art supply store or evens where, like Target and sometimes CVS. I've seen it there, too. You also need Elmer's Glue, a piece of cardboard printing ink. I use speedball cause it's water soluble, and it's easy to find a Breyer to roll the ink onto your piece of glass baron or a spoon to pull your final prints. A palette knife for putting your ink on the pallets and some cutting tools to cut your craft from So most of these things, you probably either have laying around your house already, or they're really easy and economical to purchase. In addition to the tools pictured here, you will also need a piece of glass to roll your ink out on some fiber based paper. Some rice paper or cotton paper work best for this kind of project. If you are using speedball with Kraft foam, you can also get away with using just regular copy paper for test prints and maybe even a final product, although I don't recommend it so because you're printing with foam your your paper options with foam are a little bit more versatile than they would be with a linoleum, black or white blood print. And also you will need a cutting board or tell of some kind to protect the surface that you're using to print on. So gather those things and I will see you in the next video. 3. Design: for my printed A. I was inspired by the beekeepers that sell honey locally from our farmer's market every weekend. So if you get the chance, you know, go look around at your farmers market and see what inspires you. Take pictures. Look at all these different sources of inspiration. Get away from the computer for a little while. So I came back with some pictures of the jars of honey that are sold at my farmers market. And I was really inspired to make this little jar of honey. So I'm gonna keep it really simple because we're gonna be working with foam. I'm working on a five by seven sheet of paper because I really want my design, My final designed to be greeting card size. I'm not being too precious with my pencil drawing at this point. I just want to get something down. And that way I can start manipulating it and refining my shapes afterwards. It's like I said, starting with something really simple, kind of deciding how I want my Georgia looked. I wanted to be round on the bottom. Do I wanted to kind of have the's straight edges exploring all those things right now, the thing I want the bottom to be straighter because I like that little extra detail will get to add. And there will just add a little something. So what do this little tag with A Be on it to that. It's very clear what this is. Well, keep in mind that your print is going to be one color, So think about it's almost like thinking about a penny drawing, like, how much do you tell? Can you get in there? And how can you use your darks and lights without using multiple colors? Yeah, I think I like that. My little detail in here and I think I'm my final. I'm gonna get rid of these little bows here. So when you're finished with your sketch, go ahead and get yourself a piece of tracing paper to finalize your sketch. You'll need this later to transfer as well. I'm gonna take my trace in future in place so it doesn't move when I'm trying to create my finalized drawing, and I'll use this to transfer afterwards as well. So this is where you want to finalize your drawing. And like I said before, I'm gonna leave those bow ties out. I don't feel like they added anything they just took away. - Now , my little tag here, instead of just doing dots, I think I'm gonna design a little beat you to put on here again. Try and keep your shapes Really simple. Can you really do like this detail? But I think that's a pretty easy to add. Whenever a create my final prints, I'm gonna leave those in there and do you have it? Her final design. 4. Transfer: Once you have your final design, you want to take your foam and cut it into a rectangle or square shape that's a little bit bigger than your final. Fine. Um, I do prefer to cut my phone into rectangles and squares because it makes it go further. I started doing, um, kind of like I cut shapes at one point, and I had all these weird scraps that I just couldn't use, so I would highly recommend cutting it into rectangles or squares. You're drawing you want. Take the tape off if you have taped it and flipped it over so that your pencil lines are face down. This little flip your image so it's in the reverse, which is what you want for a print anyways, and it makes transferring. It's really easy. Tape it back down. Notice how I tape everything in place. I really don't want anything moving when I'm transferring my lines or drawing or cutting or anything like that. Remember our tools for transferring? This is a burnishing tool. I'm going to use this today because it's really easy to use and I love it. But if you don't have one of those lying around the house, you can use a spoon. This is something that you should have laying around the house. You have to go and buy yourself one. So take and hold your image down because you are gonna be applying some pressure and you're just gonna take and start making little circles all over where your pencil lines are because your images face down, you're automatically transferring the graphite from the tracing paper to the foam. I keep my fingers in place and lift the bottom edge of my tape first to make sure that everything has transferred over before. I let the whole thing become until you can see it's transferred pretty well. I'm probably gonna go over this ledge here one more time just to make sure I've got a nice , clean, crisp line 17 that back in place one more time. When you lift, your image is transferred. Now you're ready to start cutting out and adding details 5. Cut It Out: Now that your image has been transferred to the phone, it's time to use our carving tools to add details. So for this, you're going to need an Exacto knife for the finer details and maybe kind of these bigger areas. If I wanted to carve them out, I would use this because I don't want any scuff marks in my final image. So this this comes in handy for actually larger areas. Parit of scissors for cutting all around my shape and the ballpoint pin or the really little detail. I tend to start with the smaller areas, first kind towards the middle and work my way out. The very last thing I will do is cut all around my edge like this because I don't want to be trying to work with an image that's even smaller than what it already is. So you can see that it makes a nice and that's what you want. Like, even if this ball point pen didn't work and leave a lot, you really want this in Denmark, cause that's what's gonna give you the negative blind whenever you pull your prints. Being mindful of where you're placing your hand on your image. Since this is graphite, your hand will rub the lines away. So try not to touch the lines that you've transferred too often because you risk losing them. So anything that I have pressed down with my pen is going to show up as white on my final print. So I'm really thinking about where I want my light areas and dark areas to be. It's an ominous switch over to my Exacto knife and do some of my slightly larger details. It's easier to use an Exacto on larger areas than a pin because you have to apply so much pressure with the pen and there is a potential to ruin it. Be patient with your knife. Sometimes you might not get everything in the first or even this I can't cut. - So I noticed that some of my lines are fading away here, so I'm gonna take my image and flip it so that I won't cause any more damage than I already have. Also, I'm looking at this little line right here, and it might be a little bit too complex for what I'm doing, so I think I'm gonna take it out now that I have done all of my detail work. It's time to cut out along the edges of my design. So to do that, I'm gonna untie ape. I'm gonna use my scissors. I am leaving some rough edges around my top here. We'll go back and clean those up. - I am gonna re tape it because I want to do a little bit more detail around this rope right here. Be careful whenever you do that, because once your lines get, uh, pretty thin like this, it gets a little bit more fragile. So you've got to really be careful. If you do happen to lose a line like I've lost the a little bit right here. Came on, became unattached. This became unattached. That's OK, because we're gonna glue this final image to a piece of cardboard to make it more stable. So as long as one side of this is still attached, you'll be OK. And there you have your final image really to be glued to the cardboard so that we can print 6. Stabilize It: Now that you have finished carving your final image, I prefer to glue it down to a piece of cardboard just to keep it a little bit more stable. Because I lost this line right here. This kind of came apart, and it is a little bit flimsy. So if I were to pull more than two or three prints with it in this condition, it's just not gonna last for your cardboard. Got a couple of choices. You can either glue it to a piece of cardboard cut to the size of what your paper is going to be. Or you can glue it to a smaller piece of cardboard and then cut around the shape that you carves. It becomes a die cut shape. I cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the paper that I'm going to print E. On because it makes for easier registration later. So I would recommend doing whatever is easiest for you. I'm gonna do it this way, so flip your image over for spreading your glue. You can also use a paintbrush if you want. Teoh. I'm a finger painter, so I use my finger to spread the glue around. Just make sure you get it everywhere. I used Elmer's glue because it's cheap. It's easy to come by and it works well. But you can also use a spray glue glue stick is the only thing I would say doesn't really work. But everything else I've tried has worked. I just I prefer Elmer's. It's the easiest thing, See when I glue that down. So given a couple of hours to dry before you start pulling your prints, I'm gonna wait for minor dry and I will see you for printing in the next video. 7. Time to Print: all right. Now that my plate is dry, I'm ready to start printing. So I went ahead and I put my yellow and magenta ink out, and I'm gonna mix them together to get my nice yellow orange color that I'm wanting to use two prints. I think that little on the dark side for me add a bit more yellow to it. Is it a bit more? It's a lot more. Ah, that's perfect. That's just the color I want. Now that I've got my color, I'm gonna spread it out about the width of my Breyer. I'm gonna start to roll out my eq As I'm rolling out like ink, I pick up my Breyer and then put it back down again because it helps cover the whole Breyer with Think. I'm also paying attention to how much ink is on my Breyer. So I'm listening for a specific sound and I'm looking for a specific texture right now. The texture is a little too long. I wanted to be a shorter texture. Even if you listen to it. The Velcro sound that it makes is very loud. So I want to calm that down a little bit. so I'm just gonna roll this a little bit longer. Yeah. See how the texture is much shorter now, in the sound softens. And that's accused that you're in the right spot. So now I'm going to link up my plate. I like to roll one way, and then another. Make sure I get it from both directions, and I'm actually gonna I'm actually gonna think up a second time. It's and I'll roll over it again just to make sure it's very well covered. And it has a nice layer of ink on it. Gonna move this guy around. So I cut my paper to be the same size as my cardboard that I won't have to worry so much about registration. That way I can just lay down the paper like so squish it on there and I'm gonna be using a spoon to transfer my print to my paper. I do keep this hand down very firmly as I am using my spoon. That way, my paper doesn't have a chance to move. The one thing about Speedball Inc is it's a little bit slick, so it'll sometimes cause your paper to move around, which is not great. So I kind of lifted up and see where I'm at. It looks like the body of my B didn't come out very well on this one. That's okay. I'm That means I've just got to be more careful about making it up on my second print. So there we have it. My first print of this link up and pull one more. See if I can get the be on there, Gonna readjust my skincare. The other thing about Spiegel Inc. If you choose to use it, kind of watching because it dries out pretty fast. There isn't extender you can purchase to use with it. I haven't used it yet, but the reviews on it are pretty good again. I'm making this all a little bit wider, a little bit bigger to get that ink texture I'm looking for. I'm looking for a specific sound, and again that real short texture was just starting to happen here. But it's not quite there yet. There it is. So I might kind of go in here gently with the edge of my Breyer and traded that bee's body a little bit better. Hopefully that'll print, so you'll notice I got a few little dabs of ink here on my cardboard. This is where you want to use your rag to pick up that extra ink, even though it doesn't look like it faded very much off of the cardboard. It will make all the difference in whether or not it picks up ink on the final point again . I cut this to size, so I didn't have to worry so much about registration. I could just make sure the edges air all lined up, and then I kind of go over it gently to try and get it to stick a little bit again. It doesn't always work with the Speedball Inc. So you want to make sure that you're holding firm pressure with your opposite hand. Get all those Nixon crannies. I keep my hand here whenever I lift up my print. That way, if there's an area that's not covered very well, I've got the opportunity. So, like here, I've got the opportunity to kind of lay it back down and go over it one more time without messing up my registration. Yeah, that turned out a lot nicer. There's my print 8. Your Turn: now that I've pulled my file set of footprints eight stir turn, Go out there and find some inspiration Are things that time waas nature or your local farmers market. I do encourage you to get out there and take some pictures and made a local vendors because you might find inspiration where you were at least expecting it. If not, that's OK, too. I'd still love to see or final products. So post them on the project page and stay tuned for more awesome making videos. If you like what you see here phobe and I will see you next time. Thanks for joining me.