Printmaking and its evolutionary story

Basic knowledge printmaking is making multiple copies of work such as posters, designs, textile industry, and at present, it is known as a style or way of exhibiting art. Printmaking has many techniques within it by which an artist uses to create multiple copies of his artwork, or an author uses to publish his book. The techniques used are woodcut, engraving, etching, lithography, and screen printing. Also, many famous artists became popular through exhibiting their art using these techniques having a history that is from the 5th century CE.



This is a technique in which the artist takes a flat even block of wood and engraves the design onto it, and ink is spread evenly across the surface and then printed on a paper or the medium required. This method is quite known from Japan and known as ukiyo-e between the 17th and 19th centuries. Tales of culture and mythological stories also scenes from folk history, beautiful in different forms are depicted using this method. The artists Van Gogh and Monet had a great impact by using this method of art, and many famous artists like Hiroshige and Hokusai, who was the creator of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, emerged during this period. This technique is also widely used in the Indian art style of Kalamkari textile.

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Kinokoland Woodengraving prints printmaking | Image: Pinterest

This technique mainly uses a metal plate on which the artist engraves on it using a tool called the burins. Mainly straights lines are used, and really skilled artists use curved lines also with shade and dots. This can be seen on silver plates as a design. Once fully engraved, ink is spread on it, and with a cloth or wool ball, extra ink wiped off and pressed into the grooves. Then the plate is run with great pressure pressed against paper where the impression is left on the paper. Albrecht Dürer is one of the great masters of engraving during the 15th and 16th centuries.


This technique is very similar to engraving but easier. Here we use copper, iron, or zinc plates, which are polished, and a layer of acid-resistant wax coat is applied, and on top of that, the artists draw their act. Later the plate is left in acid, which eats away the metal exposed part creating depression, and those parts and after removing the wax coat are removed and printed as the same technique of engraving. Rembrandt is very well known for his work of etching, and he transformed etching into a new and relatively unknown technique into a high form of art, and his work is still considered the greatest of history. This technique dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE and well for incise designs on jewelry and came to be known very well by the 15th and 16th centuries.


Image: Pinterest

It is based on the concept that water and oil don’t mix and are made using a slab is covered in a mixture of gum arabic and acid. The artwork is done on top of it, and the mixture with which the work is done, it contains chemical properties and along with water that repels ink. Multicolor lithographs can also be done using the same piece of paper is run across different stones. Toulouse-Lautrec is very prominent for this technique of work. He as worked wonderful color lithographs of Parisian nightlife, which are of 19th century French capital.

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Screen Printing

This of the 20th century, also known as silkscreen, which is made with a mesh for the transfer of ink and also stencils that help to form a design or pattern. Pioneered in China during the Song dynasty, which was a time when silk was widely used, and this technique went across to nearby countries like Europe. Photoreactive chemicals are used at the surface and exposed to UV light. Different stencils can be used for applying many colors, but aligning is a really hard part of this technique. Pop artist Andy Warhol was the one who took this technique of art to a different level during the 1960 using silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe and the others he used.

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