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On the Interlochen Printmaking Class: rainbow roll

'Tree' by Bob, 2009

One of the great things we do in the Introduction to Printmaking class, which I am teaching at the Interlochen College of Creative Arts this summer, is something called rainbow roll. An example is shown in the image above. First, the student, Bob, cut the image of the tree out of one block of linoleum. Next, he took a block of the same size that hadn't been cut. This gave him a flat, smooth surface to roll the ink onto.

I put a dab of blue ink and a dab of ochre ink at the edge of a plexiglass plate, placing the ink about three inches apart. Using a brayer as wide as the plexiglass plate, I showed Bob how to roll the brayer back and forth so that the surface of the brayer picked up a band of blue ink, a band of ochre ink, and then a gradually blended mixture of the two colours in the centre. He then rolled this over the blank block of linoleum until it was covered in colour that started blue on edge, then graded through green and on to ochre on the other edge. After this 'rainbow roll' was complete, he printed it onto some dampened printmaking paper.

He then inked the tree lino-block in black ink, and printed it directly onto the paper with the 'rainbow roll' print, with the result that you see above.

Do you want to do this and more? Then sign up for the class at the Interlochen website.

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