Media of the Week: Printmaking 1


For my first choice of week long exploration of art mediums to kick start this regular feature I have chosen a massive genre. I have done this for two reasons the first being I have been itching to do a week of it for a while, but what with getting a car again after a long gap of not having one at all and launching this website I hadn’t got round to it.

The second reason is that it seems to be so poorly represented on social media. At time of writing I have very few Printmakers following me and those I have rarely appear in my Twitter feed which is a shame as it’s a medium I particularly enjoy doing but don’t often get round to yet always enjoy looking at.

This week I hope to touch on some of the many different forms of printmaking out there for artists because of course it’s and industry as well. Sadly for me I don’t have all the different types of equipment here, nor the room to house them for all the types of printing there are.

It does mean however that the artworks I do produce this week and techniques used can all be done at home, without the need for large presses and as an introduction to printmaking I’ll be touching on different methods used to introduce colours and textures into your work.

However before starting any potentially messy project I first clear everything I can out of the way put down lots of newspaper to cover all surfaces, get out my scruffiest clothes already covered in paint splashes, ink, glazes stains etc, get out a pair of reusable rubber gloves ensure I’m not wearing anything I can accidentally dangle or drape onto my new work and so forth. This week because I’ll be doing most of this in my living room on my newish carpet it’s especially important to prepare to avoid spillages and mishaps and I also put down a firm board. If you’re messier than me, I suggest investing in a full biohazard suit.

Print can be terrible messy when you first try it but with experience you will get to realise the tidier and cleaner you keep things and the more methodical you get the better the results. But you don’t need to worry about that if all you want to do is just have a go at it for the first time or just have fun.

The only special bit of equipment you might need to go out and get is a printing roller. Like the one on the right. The one on the left with green ink is also a printing roller but it is not what you’ll need for the experiments I’ll be covering this week. So if you haven’t got the right one ask for a printing roller with a rubber roller not a sponge or fluffy roller that you would perhaps use to decorate you house with. You can get these for under £10 from many craft, art shop and online. The rest of the materials you will be using largely consist of things found at home but there will be extras on our travels. None of them cost much and where you get them from is up to you entirely.

Printing inks for artwork come as water based or oil based and each has different properties and just like paint their is a wide variety of printing inks to choose from some are specifically designed for particularly printing methods but most are versatile enough to be tried for this week’s experiments. Check with a supplier for a general purpose one before purchase. You can use acrylic so long as it’s neither too runny nor too thick. It’s usually just fine out of the tube or pot though.

Take your time and go at your own pace as this post will always be here to refer back to. So to begin…

2 minute monoprint done in a life class using just line

Published by SketchSocial

Amateur artist trying to complete my challenge of an artwork for each day of this year. Along the way I'm sharing techniques, favourite artists for anyone interested.

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