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Soft Block Prints

Fellow artist William Chambers showed me how to do this delightful soft block printmaking technique. The image is carved into styrofoam grocery store trays and color is applied to the surface with a soft brush.

Prints can be made at the kitchen table with just a few tools and inexpensive materials that clean up in a jiffy. A blunted pencil comes in handy for carving. Gouache is easy to wipe off the plate and dries quickly. I apply gentle pressure with my hands, working in color layers as the paint dries on the paper

Soft block printing is informal and unpredictable. Mistakes can lead to wonderful color surprises!


A monotype is a print but, as the name implies, only one! I paint my image on plexiglass with Createx monotype colors. With pressure from a printing press or from the back of a wooden spoon, the entire image will transfer to dampened paper. Unlike the soft block prints, the artist's hand shows in every brush stroke.

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