During this last Spring Semester at Marywood I got the opportunity to take a printmaking class! I was required to take Printmaking for my major, Illustration, and was excited to try something different.
Printmaking as a form of art has a lot to offer when it comes to variety and experimentation. I knew nothing about printmaking before taking this class, but was easily able to catch on to the different techniques included in carving into different materials or making a print.
Although the spring semester ended on us abruptly, we were still able to finish a good amount of projects. Here are two of my favorites:
One of the earlier projects that we did was make a linocut print by carving the areas that we didn’t want printed out of linoleum. I’d say that this is probably one of the more well known ways of printing. It actually was a was a lot harder than it looks! We had to heat up the linoleum in order to make it easier to cut.
To add the colors to the print I had to carve another block, leaving the areas where I wanted there to be color, and print it on the paper before my block with the sheep. I have to be honest, it was quite tricky to line the two blocks up perfectly, something I wasn’t able to achieve with this project. I am, however, very happy with how these turned out in the end!
Monoprints Using Paint
Another project that we did had to do with monoprints. Monoprints are prints that cannot be 100% replicated. I’d say that this was my favorite project of the semester!
The process is quite simple, we painted a design onto a plastic plate, and that plate is then run through the printing press.
We used a type of printing called “relief printing” which is a process where the paper used for the print is soaked in water, dried off, and then run through the press with our plastic plate. This creates the indent shown in the prints below. I was amazed to see how well what we painted on the plastic transferred to our paper to create a finished print. There are so many possibilities when it comes to making prints with this method.