Printmaking has a variety of mechanical techniques that can be used to reproduce images over and over again. (Except for monoprinting). Here I have written a small description about the different printmaking techniques:
- Wood engraving. Where the image is carved out, with special tools, of a piece of hard wood. The artist then puts ink on it and creates a print by pressing it, or by hand.
- Linocut. The image is cut out of soft linoleum. The artist then puts ink on it and creates prints (with a press or by hand).
- Drypoint. The image is scratched out of a soft metal plate, before being inked up and printed off on a press.
- Etching. Wax is applied to a stiff metal plate. Some of the wax then gets scratched away to form an image or design. The metal plate is placed into an acid bath to eat away at the exposed metal. The plate is inked up (pushing ink into the grooves) before being printed off on a press.
- Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it. (Often copper or metal)
- Lithography. Wax is applied onto stone tablets. The tablets are inked up (the ink will not stay on the wax, so it creates a “negative drawing”), and a drum is rolled across the tablet before transferring the ink (and therefore the image) to paper.
- Screen-printing. Masks are made up (these masks prevent the ink from reaching certain areas of the paper) before coloured inks are pushed through a ﬁne silk screen using a rubber squeegee, past the masks, and onto the paper.
A. Ink. B. Squeegee. C. Image. D. Photo-emulsion. E. Screen. F. Printed image.
- Monoprinting. Ink is drawn on to a plate of glass and printed off without need for a press. Can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, which allows for multiple originals.
- Digital printing. Digital printing technology is used in innovative ways to produce limited edition, digital ﬁne-art prints.