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Printmaking is a game: jigsaw printing

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

See how to print different colors one next to another with clean edges thanks to the jigsaw printing technique!

I recently submitted this print to the “International Miniprint Cantabria” competition. In this blog post, I am showing the steps for making it and highlight the "jigsaw printing" technique.

I have added a new projet page to this site where you can read about the artistic choices I made and understand its complex but poetic title, "Et le soleil mourant, sur un ciel riche et sombre"…

The theme of the competition is “the sea and the lighthouses”. The submissions must be in a printed form and be small 20 x 20 cm. (7,8” x 7,8”) maximum and the hundreds of submitted works will be exhibited from 1st September to 31st December 2021 in Santander (Spain).

If you ever went to the Bréhat island in Brittany, you might have recognized this lighthouse... It is the “phare du Paon".

Varied and amusing technical choices

The challenge for printing the background was to manage to get clean areas of block colours for the sky and the water. After a few failed attempts, I chose to use the jigsaw technique and cut the different colour areas so as to ink them separately. There is a slight gradient from light orange to yellow on this block. With this technique, the jigsaw is assembled after inking and printed as usual.

As I was not sure I would like the final result, I also printed a version with a blue sky… What's more, let’s admit that one of the joys of printmaking is the ability to print different colours with the same block!

For the lighthouse in the landscape, I took a second block and made a second jigsaw so as to avoid the colour of the clouds blending into the colour of the main subject. I also made a slight colour gradient on this layer.

I then reworked the same block, carving away the areas which needed to remain light brown and could then print on top of the light brown layer the shadow on the lighthouse and a little detail on the rocks.

The final result is as I had imagined it. I only kept 5 prints for the final edition in yellow and sent n°1/5 to the Miniprint Cantabria Competition.

As far as the blue edition is concerned, its inking is not even; I therefore decided to use it to make framable greetings cards (after cutting and mounting).


This print is available in my online shop: click here if you would like to see it


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