Printmaking Techniques

I have experimented a lot in the field of printmaking and have developed a method of monoprinting using drypoint and monotype techniques. I also sometimes work with collagraph plates. The ink I use is a soy based ink, making it kinder to the environment and to me!

What is a Drypoint?

To create a drypoint, a sharp steel tool is used to scratch directly into the surface of a printing plate (in my case plexiglass). A line is inscribed into the surface and a burr is pushed up, like the furrow of a ploughed field. The plate is inked up by rubbing thick printmaking ink into the lines. The surface is then wiped clean, leaving ink only in the scratched lines and the burr. When put through a printing press, this gives a black velvety line.

What is a Monotype?

A monotype is a one-off print, where an image is produced on a flat surface (plexiglass in my case) and then transferred to paper. The surface can be inked up using a roller and the image produced by selectively wiping away the ink with rags, brushes, scrapers or other items. Alternatively, ink can be painted directly onto the surface. The image can be printed with a printing press or by laying a sheet of paper directly on top and hand rubbing/burnishing the back of the sheet of paper.

What is a Monoprint?

A monoprint (often confused with monotype) has a single underlying image, such as an etched plate or a screen-print. In my case this is a drypoint plate. This is then made unique through the process of hand colouring or surface alteration to the printed image. A series of monoprints may be similar but no two are ever the same.

What is a Collagraph?

A collagraph is a print usually made from a cardboard plate. Textures can be created on the board by scratching into or scraping away the top surface, gluing textured papers or fabrics to the board or adding gesso or gel mediums. Anything you can think of to manipulate the surface texture. These collagraph plates can be printed using intaglio or relief methods.