Printmaking with styrofoam

In preparation for the printmaking course that I am teaching at the South East School of Art, I’ve been experimenting with styrofoam printmaking. Styrofoam is the soft plastic that you find under pizzas sometimes. It’s very easy and quick to work with.

I started with a drawing of a street in Trastevere in Rome. I indented the drawing onto an A4 sheet of styrofoam, inked it, and then printed it by hand. I first printed the block in black; the lines that I indented onto the block appear as white.


Then I printed the block in white ink onto black paper, so this time the lines that I indented show as positive marks.


The ink is a bit blotchy in places where I applied too much.

A quick way of adding colour is to print onto coloured paper. Here’s the block again, printed on red paper.


Finally, I cut away some of the block where I wanted bigger light areas, and printed it in warm brown sienna onto light brown pastel paper.


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