When making linoleum block prints, I like to start with a photograph that I have taken. In the past I used tracing paper on a printed photo, but I wanted to skip the printing of the photo and be able to go directly from my iPad to the tracing paper. I tried several existing photo editing software applications and found that the iPad’s screen is sensitive enough to pick up touches through the tracing paper. It made it very frustrating to always have to reposition the photo. So I gave up with that approach and wrote TraceBox. The current version of TraceBox is still fairly limited, but it will do the most important thing, hold the photo still while I trace onto the paper. The following example goes through the entire process of linoleum block printing from the beginning to the end.
Start TraceBox and select your photo. Click the Pick Tracing Photo button in the upper right to select your photo. Here is the photo that I have selected. After you have selected the photo and picked the desired orientation of the laptop you can then click the Lock Screen button in the upper left corner of the screen.
After you have selected and locked the screen you can tape a piece of tracing paper to the front of the iPad. Trim a piece of tracing paper to the size of the iPad Screen. I typically use Scotch Magic Tape, it sticks well but pulls up from the iPad case without any trouble. I put one or two pieces of the tape on the top (relative to your drawing layout) of the iPad. This lets me flip up the tracing paper to let me see any details that don’t come through the tracing paper well. It also lets me see where I have traced and where I haven’t.
I needed about 5 test prints to get the right amount of ink onto the surface of the block. So plan on making a few mess ups.
- 5×7 inch Linoleum block
- Ink Plate
- Number 1 Small V cutter
- Number 2 Large V cutter