The oldest form of mechanical reproduction is called printmaking which goes back in time to about the 5th century. With this form of reproduction, the artist can send out many copies of his art, identical or otherwise. This article talks about five different types of art prints the techniques used to make them, and their artistic results.
The oldest form of printmaking is the woodcut. Originally, these art prints were created when an artist drew a sketch on a block of wood, and then cut away all parts of the wood that were not to be inked. Ink was then rolled onto the block of wood, sticking to it only on the raised sections of the drawing. After inking, the block could be pressed onto a sheet of paper to transfer the drawing.
Engraving is another form of printmaking. In contrast to woodcut, in engraving the block has depressed areas to which the ink clings. Copper is typically used for the metal block. Then a sketch is scraped onto the metal with special engraving tools. This process allows for many more copies to be produced than woodcut, since a metal plate is very durable.
An intriguing variant on engraving is drypoint. This method involves using a tool to scrape the sketch away, leaving a feathered edge to the block. Drypoint’s unique method of preparation results in a visual quality that no other printing process can match. However, since the feathered edges will be worn off of the plate with time, drypoints can only be made in small batches.
The process of lithography allows one to put a graphic on shale. The image is created with a fatty tool, then covered with hydrochloric acid. This freezes the image on the surface. If limestone is used as a canvas, this process can save nuances impossible with other printing methods.
The modern imaging process used in making giclee prints reproduces a digital scan onto paper. In this process high-quality colored ink is sprayed onto the page using jets and resulting in a rich array of varying shades of color as well as breathtaking detail. Landscapes and flower paintings are among the most popular of the reasonably-priced giclee prints available at fine art print shops.
This article talks about five different types of art prints the techniques used to make them, and their artistic results. Engraving is another form of printmaking. In contrast to woodcut, in engraving the block has depressed areas to which the ink clings. In lithography, a sketch is drawn on a block of limestone. Using a greasy drawing medium, followed by the application of an acid, the drawing is essentially “burned” onto the limestone. The lithography process captures fine details that other print processes cannot reproduce. Landscapes and flower paintings are among the most popular of the reasonably-priced giclee prints for sale at fine art print shops.