Fine Art: Printing

Fine Art: Printing

Section: Basics of Fine Art Printing

  • Fine Art Printing is a term that covers many processes artists use to create multiple original works of art.
  • Printing spans different techniques from relief to intaglio, lithography, and screenprinting.
  • The prints are created using a matrix, a physical object that carries the image to be printed.
  • The process of printing involves transferring the image from the matrix to a sheet of paper or other material.

Section: Techniques in Fine Art Printing

  • Relief Printing involves carving a design into a flat surface, then applying ink to the raised areas for printing.
  • Intaglio Printing includes techniques like engraving and etching, where the image is incised into a surface, and the incised line or sunken area holds the ink.
  • Lithography uses the principle that water and oil do not mix; it’s drawn on stone with oil, grease, or wax, then inked and printed.
  • Screenprinting, also known as silkscreen or serigraphy, involves creating a stencil and forcing ink through the stencil onto the print surface.

Section: Elements of Fine Art Printing

  • Colour in printing is created by layering different prints in different colours on top of each other, often through separate stencils or plates.
  • The texture of a print can be affected by the choice of printing surface, the thickness and type of ink, and the printing process used.
  • The shape and size of the print is determined by the matrix used, but also by the size of the paper or surface on which it’s printed.

Section: Styles in Fine Art Printing

  • Monoprinting and monotyping are printmaking methods that create unique, one-off prints.
  • Digital or giclée printing allows the replication of digital artworks onto paper and other substrates with excellent colour accuracy.
  • Aquatint and mezzotint are intaglio methods that allow for a wide range of tonal values in prints.

Section: Evaluating Fine Art Printing

  • When evaluating a print, consider the clarity of the image, the richness and accuracy of the colours, and the care with which the print has been made and finalised.
  • Consider the diversity of the techniques used, the texture and quality of the paper, and the correct application of the inking and pressing process.
  • A critical discussion of the subject matter, style, and techniques used in a print can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the artwork.