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Stay curious, stay inspired, stay connected!: Sharon Gross - printmaker

Resources and ideas for this time of corona virus isolation.

Relief Printmaking Workshop with Styrofoam with Sharon Gross

This is an easy and creative art activity you can do at home. Using very simple art materials I will show you how to make a Relief Print. The materials we will be using, most you may have at home, others can easily be ordered on line. All of the materials are safe, water-soluble and easy to work with. I will take you step-by-step through the process, which you can easily follow using the photos below.

This workshop will introduce you to the printmaking process. It is similar to a linoleum print or woodcut but instead, we will use Styrofoam as our printmaking plate. Using hand printing (or a rolling pin) you will be able to create a series of prints.

A Relief Print is a printmaking style that allows one to etch a design into a surface, this time Styrofoam. Ink is then applied to the surface and multiple images (a series) can be printed.


  • 2 Styrofoam plates
  • 1 sharp pencil and/or a ballpoint pen
  • Scissor
  • Roller
  • Tube of Speedball (or Dick Blick) water-soluble block printing ink (2.5 fl oz) (choose a favorite color or use more than one color)
  • Newspaper to cover workspace
  • Printmaking paper – thin manila or white copy paper or construction paper
  • Optional – a rolling pin



Dick Blick is a terrific art supply source. Their catalogue is online at The roller, ink, scissors, manila paper, white paper are all available online. The rolling pin, styrofoam plates are available in a supermarket or may be in your home.


Enjoy your printmaking experience!

Sharon Gross

Sharon Gross is a teaching artist. She has been instructing creative workshops for children and young adults for many years. You can contact her at the above email address with any questions or to find out about more art workshops.


Cut out a square from the center of the first Styrofoam plate.



On a white piece of copy paper outline the shape of the square.


Using the pencil, create a design or image for your print on the white paper. In printmaking, images are printed in the reverse. So you may have a bird image looking to the left, but when printed it will be in the reverse, looking to the right.


Place the image over the Styrofoam Square and go over all the lines of your drawing with either the sharp pencil or ballpoint pen. Press down to make an image in the Styrofoam. This will become your printmaking plate.

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Squeeze some ink onto the second Styrofoam plate. Take your roller and roll out the ink.


Place the roller (with the ink) over your Styrofoam plate with your image. Put the roller aside and place the manila paper over the inked image. Take you rolling pin or spread out hand and go over the Styrofoam place. You want to transfer the inked image onto your printing paper.


Remove the paper and look at your print! Notice it is in reverse. Make another print. Let the prints dry for some time.


The Styrofoam printing plate and roller can be cleaned with warm running water for another time.