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A Thin Roll-Out Is The Key

About Process Einks woodblock

Thin is the key.
Probably the most important issue to learn about working with the transparent ink is how thin the ink is rolled out. 
A thin ink layer is the key to a successfully printed image and effective overlays and glazes.

A thin roll-out of ink on the block will produce crisp edges for the printed image. A heavy roll-out of ink will print blurred edges. Visualize a layer of ink resting on the block surface. If that layer of ink is thick, when it is pressed, it will be displaced off the edge of the printing area. The result is a “halo” of excess ink around the printed area, creating blurred edges to the print.

So how much ink is the right amount?   Surprising little. The thin roll-out begins on the palette with just enough ink rolled out to coat the brayer with a thin even layer of ink. That thin layer of ink on the palette will have a fine orange peel texture when rolled out. A glass palette with a white background will help to show the color and transparency of the ink when rolled out. 

When rolling out a transparent ink, that thin layer on the glass palette will seem non-existent. Proofing will help determine the right amount of pigment to be added to the ink base. For a darker ink roll-out, add more pigment to the base mix, not a thicker roll-out. 

For more articles and info on printing with Evergreen Inks, visit

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