Main menu

Technique | Printmaking

Printmaking is an indirect means of creating art by transferring an image or design by contact with a matrix such as a block, plate, stone, or screen. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate.
   There are four basic processes used in traditional printmaking: relief (woodcut, wood engraving, linoleum cut), intaglio (dry point, engraving, etching, aquatint, mezzotint), planography (lithography), and stencil (screenprint).

AQUATINT: An aquatint is a variety of etching widely used by printmakers to achieve a broad range of tonal values. The finished prints resemble watercolors.
ETCHING:  A printmaking method in which lines and areas are etched into a surface prepared with an acid-resistant substance. It immersed in acid, which leaves depressions in the exposed areas.
COLLOGRAPH: A collagraph print is a collage printmaking technique and is a form of Intaglio printing.
LINOLEUM CUT: A linocut is a form of relief printing. The design is carved into a sheet of linoleum, which is inked with a brayer. The print is made by placing a sheet of paper on top so the ink is transfers to the paper.
LITHOGRAPHY: A lithograph is printed on a flat surface (smooth stone or metal plate) that has been prepared so that the ink will only stick to the design that will be printed.
MONOPRINT: A monotype is a form of printmaking in which no element of the print is repeatable. It is by manually adding (additive method) or removing (subtractive method) ink or paint from a plate (surface) used to create prints.
MONTYPE: A monoprint is made on printing plates with permanent elements, such as engraving lines. It is by manually adding (additive method) or removing (subtractive method) ink or paint from a plate (surface) used to create prints.
SILKSCREEN: A print made using a stencil process in which an image or design is superimposed on a very fine mesh screen and printing ink is squeegeed onto the printing surface through the area of the screen that is not covered by the stencil.
WOODCUT: A woodcut is made from an illustration carved into wood with chisels and knives and then printed on a surface, such as paper.


32 Pages


Character Websites
Essential Reference
Traditional Literature
Teaching Aids


Banned Picture Books
Picture Book Parodies
Picture Book Bestsellers
More Than a Million
New Yorker Illustrators