Card printing is a simple inexpensive method of printmaking that can be used alone to make simple designs/images or combined with other printmaking or painting processes. The basic nature of this printmaking process allows it to be easily adapted and developed to create a range of results. It can be used as a bridge between drawing and printmaking.
- Card (provided) or cereal packets
- Ball-point pen
- Rollers x 2
- Wooden spoon
1. Draw your image/design on the white side of the card (when using a cereal packet, the printed side).
2. Add further marks to your image/design using a ball-point pen – pressing hard! This is important as the pen will create a groove that, when printed, will produce a negative line.
3. The next stage is cutting out the image/design. It is important to remember that the cut edge is itself a part of the design. You can either: faithfully follow your drawn lines; cut the card into a different shape around the image/design – or a combination of both.
4. Ink the card plate using a roller, taking care not to damage it, especially if your image/design has any intricate pieces. The ink does not necessarily have to be applied evenly; this is equally a part of the creative process as the initial drawing itself.
Note: At this point you can see the negative lines. Any that have filled in can be re-drawn using the ball-point pen.
5. With the ink side facing upwards, carefully place the paper on to the card plate. Hold in position with one hand whilst burnishing/rubbing the back of the paper. For this, a roller, wooden spoon or the ball-point pen can be used – each will produce a different result.
Note: Throughout this stage it is a good idea to have a look now and then, to check how the print is transferring, remembering to keep one hand holding the paper in position.
Further Information and Suggestions
o The weight of the paper that you choose to use can vary, bearing in mind that thicker paper requires more pressure when hand burnishing.
o Instead, or as well as the roller, a brush can be used to apply the ink to the card plate. The brush marks add another dynamic that works well as a foil to the cut edge of the plate.