Printmaking and its Techniques
An original print is an image conceived by an artist to be created on one surface and transferred onto another, thereby enabling the production of more than one final image. The original work of art is the print itself rather than the block or plate from which it is printed. As there is generally more than one ‘impression’ of any printed image, it is easier to find and afford an original print than an oil or watercolour by a certain artist. There are several different methods of printmaking.
Relief prints are those in which the areas around the image to be printed are cut away, leaving the image on the block in relief. The raised areas are then inked and the image transferred onto a second surface, usually paper. The most common relief processes are woodcut, linocut and wood-engraving.
Intaglio prints (from Italian intagliare - to engrave or incise) are those in which the image is cut into a surface or plate. When the plate is inked, the incised lines hold the ink and the image is transferred to a second surface, usually paper. There is generally a visible line around the image where the plate has been pressed into the paper, called the platemark. Engraving, etching, drypoint, aquatint and mezzotint are the most common types of intaglio printmaking.