An Intaglio technique that produces broad areas of texture instead
of thin, dry lines. In this process, acid-resistant particles (powder
or paint) are spread over certain areas of the metal plate. These
particles are then fused to the plate with heat. When the plate is
immersed in acid, the particles prevent bits of the surface from being
eaten away. The result is a tiny polka dot texture that creates the
illusion of tonal range when the plate is inked and printed. For color
aquatint, see Helen Frankenthaler, A
Page from a Book I, II,
For black and white aquatint.
Carborundum: Another name for silicon carbide, carborundum
is a abrasive substance sometimes used to build up the surface of
a metal plate. When the plate is pressed against dampened paper,
raised carborundum areas leave a craggy, relief impression on the
paper. The Catalan artist Joan Miro' helped innovate and popularize
this process in the 20th Century.
Drypoint: An intaglio technique which, in contrast to etching,
does not require acid to bite the metal plate. In this process, a
needle is used to cut directly into the plate. Unlike engraving,
metal is not permanently removed, but pushed into high ridges to
either side of the line. In printing, ink gathers along these ridges
a soft, velvety line in the final print.
Embossing: A non-color technique that causes raised areas on the
surface of a print. See Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections
Engraving: An Intaglio technique similar to drypoint. When
engraving, the artist cuts his design directly into the metal plate.
The depth and thickness of the line can be altered by hand pressure.
As in the other intaglio methods, ink gathers in the recessed areas.
Dampened paper is then pressed against the plate to absorb the ink
and produce an image in reverse.
Etching: An Intaglio technique. The surface of the metal plate
is coated with an acid-resistant varnish. The artist then creates
an image by scraping away areas of the varnish. When the plate is
dipped in acid, these exposed areas are dissolved. In printing, ink
gathers in the recessed areas and produces an image in reverse when
pressed against dampened paper.
Gouache: An opaque and heavier form of watercolor. See Grisha
Bruskin, Black and Red I, and Notes
Intaglio: A category of printmaking in which an image is incised
or etched into a metal plate. Ink is then applied to these incised
or etched areas beneath the plate's surface. When pressed against
dampened paper, the inked plate produces an image in reverse. Because
most plates are smaller than the paper size, a plate mark is often
left in the paper. Aquatint, etching, engraving and drypoint all fall
into the Intaglio category.
Etching: see Sugar-lift Aquatint.
Linoleum cut (Linocut): A relief technique popularized by
Matisse and Picasso in the 20th Century. In this technique, a thin
linoleum is mounted on wood. The artist then uses a sharp instrument
to cut away the linoleum. In contrast to the intaglio techniques,
where the recessed areas are inked, only the higher areas of linoleum
are inked and printed, not the areas that have been cut away.
Lithograph: The artist draws directly onto a stone block with
greasy ink or crayon. The stone is then dampened. Color is applied
but, being repelled by water, sticks only to the greasy lines. The
stone is usually larger than the printing paper and therefore leaves
no plate mark.
Mezzotint: An intaglio technique. The artist begins by roughening
the entire plate surface with a scratching tool. He or she then scrapes
the design into the scratched areas. In printing, the ink sticks to
the roughened areas but not the design. The result is an image in
white on a black background. See Frank
Monotype: A unique print made by painting directly onto a metal
plate then pressing paper against it. The resulting image will be
in reverse. Since the plate is not permanently marked, it can only
be printed once. See Matt Phillips, Painter
Pochoir: A stenciling method for applying color. Famous pochoirs
include The Jazz Series by Matisse and The
Constellations Suite by Miro'.
Screenprint/Silkscreen/Serigraphy: Ink is printed onto the paper
through a fine silk screen which produces areas of textured color.
The areas not receiving color are blocked out with stencils. Screenprinting
has its roots in commercial images, hence its appeal to Pop Artists
Roy Lichtenstein and Andy
Warhol. Currently, screenprinting is popular
in mixed media works where it adds a soft texture to complex images. For example, Frank Stella, The
Great Heidelburgh Tun.
Sugar-Lift Aquatint (also known as Lift-ground Etching): An
etching technique that preserves the artist's brushwork and permits
broad areas of color instead of thin, dry lines. The artist begins
by painting the metal plate with a solution of sugar and black ink.
The entire plate is then coated with an acid-resistant varnish. When
the plate is immersed in warm water, the sugar mixture melts, lifting
away part of the varnish. The plate is then grained for texture (see
aquatint method) and dipped in acid. Where the varnish has been lifted,
the acid bites into the plate.* In printing, ink gathers in this etched
area and creates a rich black tone on the paper. For sugar-lift aquatint,
*It is also possible to apply acid directly to the metal plate with
a brush. This method is difficult to control but Picasso favored it
for the variety of unusual textures it could produce.
Woodcut: A relief technique, like the linocut, in which color
is applied to the raised areas instead of the areas that have been
carved away. In this process, the artist carves a design into a block
of wood and then inks the areas that have not been cut away. In the
resulting prints, the ink often retains the texture of the woodgrain.
The woodcut technique originated in China and has a strong tradition
in Japan. The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, known for his painting
The Scream, helped revitalize the technique in Europe at the
end of the 19th Century. In contemporary art, Helen
Frankenthaler's color woodcuts are considered among her strongest works. For color
woodcut, see Frankenthaler, Tales
of Genji II, IV