used by our artists.
Aquatint prints are known for their subtle use of tone, creating often subtle painterly effects. A powdered Rosin made from pine sap is applied to a metal plate and then heated to set it. Further layers are painted over and the plate is dipped in an acid etching bath. When the plate is ready the ink is applied and rubbed. The ink remains within the textures of the plate and is picked up by the paper upon printing.
Image: Glenn Tomkinson
Collagraph prints are made using a plate usually made from paper or board with textures and different media stuck to it. It can also feature carving, scraping and scratching, and the application of carborundum to create deep, rich areas of dark tone. The plate is inked up either with a roller or rubbed like an etching and then printed with a press. It is possible to make textured prints without applying any ink which is known as a 'blind' print.
Image: Dave Sharps
Cyanotype uses sunlight to create prints. Paper is coated with a special chemical which reacts to light. Images (either positive or negative) or actual objects are laid on top of the paper and then exposed to sunlight. The paper is then rinsed and the image is exposed as a gorgeous, rich blue.
Image: Kim Tillyer
Images are created using a computer tablet and a digital pencil. The artist uses the different tools and brushes available to them to create the image, taking a lot of time and skill to create fine art images, with excellent control over colours and textures within the image. The final image is printed using archival inks onto fine art paper.
Image: Ray Ogden
Drypoint is a technique that involves scratching onto a plate. Plates can be metal, plastic or even drink cartons. After being prepared, the plate is inked-up, and then some of the ink is removed by rubbing. The ink will remain heaviest in the lines and textures created by scratching so when printed, a positive image is revealed.
Image: Richard Foster
Etching traditionally involved the use of nitric acid onto copper to 'etch' the design. Nowadays most printmakers use safer, less toxic chemicals to etch into zinc or copper. Then the zinc or copper plate is inked up, pushing the thick ink into the etched grooves and the rest of the ink is wiped off the surface. The plate is covered with dampened paper (which makes it softer) and run through a press. The press pushes the paper into the etching and a print similar to a line drawing is produced.
Image: Elizabeth Shorrock
Letterpress traditionally uses cast lead type blocks and specialist printing machines to print text. Each individual letter or character sits on an individual block. In order to be printed, each block is locked into a 'chase' and then carefully printed onto paper. The imagination of the printer is only limited by the typeface and blocks that are available in the studio. Small linocuts or wood engravings can also be mounted and printed in the same format.
Image: Vega Brennan
Carving into linoleum makes a design that ink can be rolled over and printed. A relief printing method, much like woodcut, linocut usually offers strong striking images, although with skill and practice, subtle colour variation can be achieved. Linocut prints can be produced as a single layer or with multiple blocks to create multiple layers. The reduction linocut method requires good planning skills as each layer is cut out of the same piece of lino. Each layer will be printed in a different colour until the desired image is achieved.
Image: Emily Brooks
Lithography (literally 'stone-drawing') uses the principle that water and oil do not mix. A special stone is drawn on with a greasy crayon and then the rest of the stone surface is treated so that it further resists the oily ink sticking to it. The stone is then wetted, and oily ink rolled over the surface, only sticking to the drawn areas. Lithographs are recognisable by their delicate textures and interesting drawn marks.
Image: Rachel Gibson
Monoprints are made by creating the image upon a surface which is then printed onto paper.
Ink can be painted on, manipulated by hand or with masks, objects and stencils. Paper is laid on top and pressure is applied either using a press, or by hand to transfer the image to the paper. Sometimes multiple layers are created by using several colours and/or passes through the press. Usually only one print is made and they are therefore very unique! Or the monoprint may be one of a series using a theme or a base image.
Image: Dorothy Ramsay
Prints are made by creating pressure between the paper and the ink in a controlled manner.
A typical monotype would be where ink is rolled onto a surface or plate (glass for example), and the paper laid gently on top. Pressure is then applied to the back of the paper to get the ink to transfer. Usually the artist will draw or rub on the back of the paper, the ink transfer is heaviest where the pressure is greatest. Only a single print is made each time and is therefore unique. The ink that remains on the plate can be used to make a negative imprint.
Image: Emily Brooks
Screenprinting (or serigraphy) uses a frame covered with a fine mesh through which ink is pushed with a rubber squeegee. The design is made by either making simple paper masks or by using photographs and drawings which have been transferred onto the screen using light-sensitive resists. Screenprints are instantly recognisable because of their bright, clear colours and flat designs. Most contemporary screenprinters use water-washable inks.
Image: Magda Brugier
Also known as wood engraving or wood block printing. An image, or textures are carved into the wood using specialist chisels and gouges. The surface is then rolled with ink and the paper laid on top. Pressure is applied so the ink is transferred to paper in a very similar way to linocut printing. Prints can be one colour, or many colours. In traditional Japanese printmaking, ink is applied in many thin layers to build delicate tonal effects.