Printmaking: Monotype, Intaglio, Etching, Photogravure, Paper Lithography and Screenprinting





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Blue Bouquet Series #16 (2016)


16 5/8” x 11 15/16”






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Wide Grass on XXX (2016)

Etching with Aquatint

8 3/4“ x 23 3/4”





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Street Lamp (Dresden, Germany) (2006)

Polymer Intaglio

6” x 4 “





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      River Ness, Inverness (2009)

      Photogravure with Color Viscosity

     7” x 5 1/4"





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Winged Elm (2013)

Paper Lithograph

8 7/8” x 71/8”




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Grasses on Crimson (2009)

Unique Screenprint

30” x 22 ½"






       inmbul1a   Monotypes are one-of-a-kind prints.

     I produce monotypes by making a design on a flat smooth surface (a "plate") and then printing the design on a piece of paper using a hand-operated etching press to transfer the design from the plate to the paper.

        Once the design is transferred from the plate, very little of the original design is left on the plate. For this reason there is usually only one print, a monotype, made from the image that was originally on the plate.








       inmbul1a   Intaglio refers to prints that are made from a plate into which a design has been incised, by scratching, etching in a liquid, or some other means. Generally more than one copy of the print is made from such a plate. The collection of nearly identical prints from one plate is called an edition.


       inmbul1a   Traditional etching is a type of intaglio printing that involves the use of nitric acid as the etchant on a zinc plate, or the use of ferric chloride as the etchant on a copper plate.




       inmbul1a   Polymer intaglio is a recently developed form of intaglio that avoids some of the toxicity of the traditional methods. Photopolymer films adhered to copper plates are used to create intaglio prints. The plate is exposed to ultraviolet light shining through a transparency that contains the image that will be printed from the completed plate. The plate is then placed in a solution of sodium carbonate as a developer and, finally, inked and printed.











       inmbul1a   Photogravure is an intaglio process that was originally used to produce photographs. In its modern version it allows one to print images with a wide range of values.

       Ultraviolet light is used to transfer a digital image printed in black on a transparency to light-sensitive gelatin film. The gelatin film is then adhered to a flat, polished copper plate. The image is developed on the copper plate using hot water.

       The resulting plate is etched in a series of up to seven concentrations of ferric chloride and water. After trimming the excess copper from the edges of the image, the plate is printed with a printing press using etching ink and archival paper.





Paper Lithography

       inmbul1a   All lithography involves printing from a flat surface prepared so that ink adheres to the design to be printed but not to the areas without any design. Paper lithography begins with a black-and-white image (such as a photograph) printed with a laser printer on ordinary printer paper. The paper is then coated with a mixture of gum arabic and water so that the white areas of the paper do not hold ink. Then lithographic or etching ink is carefully applied using a roller.

     The inked paper is then placed on the bed of a printing press. A piece of archival printing paper is placed over the inked paper. When run through the press, the ink transfers from the inked paper to the printmaking paper, transferring the image and creating a “paper lithograph.”





       inmbul1a   Screenprinting entails forcing ink through a fabric screen that contains the image to be printed.

        In order to create the image, those areas of the screen that are to remain unprinted are blocked out. This is accomplished by means of traditional methods such as paper stencils or use of stop-out liquid, or by photographic methods. The latter involve coating the screen with photopolymer emulsion and then exposing the coated screen to ultraviolet light through a transparency that contains the image.

        Screenprinting can be used to create an edition of prints or individual prints.



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Page revised March 2022.