Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 2 – Building a Visual Vocabulary – Stage 4 Developing Design Ideas – Experiments with Printing & Painting – Stage 2 Experimenting with techniques – PRINTING ON PAPER


Much experimentation has taken place on paper and fabric since my last entry, making very good use of my extended deadline from 1st to 17th November.

Having spent a happy morning experimenting with various tools and materials in my possession, I realised there was the potential for heaps of paper, so I considered how I was going to present my printing samples.  I made a junk book from used envelopes from an idea by Cindy Shepard on YouTube  (Smash & Stash Journal ideas designoriginals123).  This really enhanced my learning experience as I every time I returned to my work table I reviewed the printing and added a layer or a technique which encouraged me to be more creative.


Craft acrylic & block printing medium sponged through an acetate stencil.

Cutting a stencil from acetate was new to me and extremely versatile.  Really easy to draw on, cut with a scalpel or craft knife on a mat and rinse under the tap after use.  Will definitely use this technique again.  I started this with the cut out from the stencil, (where the lime green is evident on the right hand page).  I realised straight away that it was not a very interesting shape and wouldn’t work well in simple layers so decided to use the stencil and a natural sponge.  I like the way the layers add depth.


Craft acrylic and block printing medium rollered onto beech leaves (left hand side)

Craft acrylic brushed onto glass, dense make up sponge stamped into paint and printed on paper (right hand side)

I love the texture produced by the beech leaves.  I worked quickly thinking of a previous drawing (below)


and think this technique has potential.  Some leaves don’t have such prominent veins, the beech is particularly good.

Referring to the make-up sponge flower shapes on the right hand side, (above two), I like the texture produced by the sponge and how it can be varied by applying the paint to the glass in different ways (eg. with a brush or roller).


Easy cut lino prints onto brown paper and brown tissue paper with block printing ink applied with a brayer.

These easy cut lino prints were my first foray into cutting a block, produced on the Inspiration to Stitch course I took last year which introduced me to printing.  I included them to show the benefit of adding background texture.  I was happy with them at the time and particularly like the leaf vein markings on the leaf to the right of the envelope window, although am less keen on the background lines.


Two leaf blocks cut in easy cut lino, in relation to my theme.  Craft acrylic paint & block printing medium applied with a brayer to the two red prints on the left hand side and applied with a brush for all other prints on the page.  Background texture in turquoise sponged with natural sponge and red applied with brayer.

I like the painterly effect of applying the paint with a coarse brush around the leaf shape and the softer edge than the block effect of applying the paint to the whole block with the brayer.


Stencil cut from acetate with acrylic paint mixed with block printing medium, applied with a brush, the image is stencilled onto acetate, 320gsm khadi paper, a lighter weight hand made paper with petals and another heavyweight paper.

This is one of my favourite pages.  I like the colours and shadow effect created by printing a second image alongside the first print.  I really like printing on the hand made paper, it takes the ink well and can give good texture as on bottom right.  the background was printed with bubble wrap and textile paint.


left  – Acetate stencil, paint applied with a brush and background sponged, printed onto abaca tissue.

right – Acrylic paint and block printing ink brushed through plastic alphabet stencil, background sponged

Not my favourite page.  Left hand print messy and amateurish but abaca tissue has been on my wishlist since reading Ruth Issett’s book, A Passion for Colour.    I found it at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace and it was worth the wait.  It takes the dye well and has wet strength.  I like the alphabet stencil, it could be used to add letters subtly to a background.


Left – white acrylic paint brayered onto leaves & stalk and stamped onto pre-decorated paper.

Right – Easy cut lino print layered

Like the leaf print on the left.  Right didn’t work well.


Made a stencil from stencil card for petals, rotated and used twice on right, cut-out used on left, another acetate stencil for centre of flower using markal paintsticks applied to edge of stencil and brushed onto paper.  Background painted and sponged stencil.  Left hand made paper, right, packing paper.

Like the effect of rotating the stencil and using markal paintstiks.  Prefer right hand flower.  Like the centre stencil.


Acetate stencil with acrylic paint and block printing medium applied with brush.  Background applied with rough texture sponge.  Faint pink on right, textured wallpaper print.

Like the leaf prints.  Texture sponge didn’t work well.  Works better on more absorbent paper.


Easy cut lino prints. Paint applied with brayer.  Too much block printing medium on left created great texture, took ages to dry.

Loved the ‘Tea bag paper’ used for red print, it took the dye well, is light and has wet strength.


Easy cut lino prints.  Paint applied with brayer. Trying different papers.  Lens tissue on left, lighter weight than abaca tissue, also takes dye well and has wet strength.   Approx 150 gsm khadi paper on left, love the textural look.


Monotype prints from acrylic paint and textile medium applied to glass with brayer,  paint removed with colour shaper.  two prints layered on left and three on right.   Both printed on 50gsm layout paper.

Excited by the effect produced by removing paint with colour shaper and the potential of layering monotype prints.


Left – Print off used alphabet stencil.  Two daisy monoprints onto lens tissue from home-made gelatin plate.

Right – monoprint onto hand- made fibrous, light weight paper top and brown tissue paper bottom.

Really don’t like this page, messy and mono-prints difficult to read, but could see the potential of gelatin plate.  My home-made efforts were poor and with further research and hindsight, I would use more gelatin in future and think it is worthy of further exploration in future.


Monotype prints from acrylic paint and textile medium applied to glass with brayer,  paint removed with colour shaper. Left one print on 150gsm WHS drawing pad, right –  two different prints on 150gsm coloured khadi paper.   Some energy and texture in both.  Will definitely return to this technique.


Trying different papers and relief plates.  Above left, orange khadi paper, nylon cord stuck in an oak leaf shape on cardboard. Bottom left – a hand-made paper with seeds, printed with corks, bottle tops, silicone disks.  Right – textured wallpaper print background in orange, carved polystyrene pizza base in black onto brown tissue paper.


Left – textured wallpaper block on tissue paper

Right- tile spacers stuck to cardboard.


Left – Wire egg cup

Right – photograph from sketchbook of soft pastel experiment printed on heat transfer paper for light fabrics cut out and ironed onto 135gsm paper.


Markal paintsticks brushed off the edge of torn cardboard.  Interesting effect.


Left – easy cut lino print, paint applied with brush, on textured paper.

Right – Monotype print from easy cut lino stamped onto glass,

Liked the effect of the right hand print.


Acrylic paint and textile medium applied to glass with brush and stamped with make-up sponge.  Really like the texture of the brush lines and dense sponge.  Would like to experiment more with creating patterns in this way.


More monotype prints from glass.  Left – First print on blue tissue paper.  Right – Ghost print on 150gsm paper.


Cover of junk book.

Left- various prints stuck to envelope, covered with ironed on painted bondaweb, then covered with fine chiffon scarf to prevent bondaweb or prints coming loose.

Right- Paper used to protect surface whilst decorating papers and practice printing with credit card edge.

Although I spent quite some time on this exercise, I learned a lot about varying the paper, the pressure, the amount and type of paint and the means of applying paint and how all of these things affect the outcome of the print.   Printing in this way has immense potential not just to decorate and embellish fabric but also a very good way for me to develop design ideas as I feel comfortable experimenting in this medium.


2 thoughts on “Part 2 – Building a Visual Vocabulary – Stage 4 Developing Design Ideas – Experiments with Printing & Painting – Stage 2 Experimenting with techniques – PRINTING ON PAPER

  1. Nina you have worked so hard and consistently. I think the results prove that creative energy is definitely with you. I love the colour you have worked with and the flow of lines built up with the shapes chosen. I hope you meet your deadline and feel a sense of achievement when completed.

  2. Me too! Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

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