Lithography is a chemical process based on the fact that water and grease repel each other. Traditionally the design is drawn with a greasy crayon onto a lithographic stone, hence the name, from the Greek 'lithos' meaning stone. The stone is dampened with water, which is repelled by the crayon. It is then inked with a grease-based ink, which is repelled by the water and adheres only to the areas covered by the grease crayon. A sheet of paper is placed on top of it and the two are passed through the press together, so that the design transfers directly onto the paper.
'I turn to etching and lithography with a sense of exuberance and relief. In printmaking you can give your imagination full range and see the results almost immediately.' Paula Rego
Text © Helen Rosslyn, A Buyer's Guide to Prints. Courtesy Royal Academy of Arts Publications.
Film by Wayne Derrick, Inspire Films.