Printing your own art – these reliefs are more then decoration

Have you ever wanted to create your very own art and bringing it to your friends? This might be your way. Because drawing is quite slow and you can not reproduce your work, relief printing involves drawing only once.

First you need to draw your favorite motif on paper, just like you would do with your everyday sketch. Normally your piece of art would be finished now, but you only have one copy. If you want more examples of your work, the printing comes in quite handy.

Therefore you have to bring your sketch onto a piece of linoleum, wood or even plastic, but it should be mirrored. Or to combine the first two steps, start drawing directly onto the block of your favorite relief material. If the drawing is ready, you could take it with you, but it’s still only one piece… So it doesn’t end here.

Then the carving begins, remove everything from the surface of your block to make it look like a relief, leaving only these bits you want to print later, this might need some time and some skill, but you’ll do it just as well as most of the artists when you don’t rush. Once finished, cover it with paint and press it on paper. You’ll discover, that by now, you have two pieces of art: the relief and your first print. But the amount of printing is not limited, so just take the paint, cover it again and print it one more time, and again, and again.

Aftyn Shah is an artist who does block printing. Inspiration comes from exploring parks and forests with her family, everything else she needs are homemade lattes and Thai food, she claims. Despite her personal input, she donates some of her income to charity organizations regularly!

You can watch the complete process of relief printing here, from the very first steps of drawing oil to the last bits of printing.