Lithography is a 19th-century printmaking technique traditionally used with stone and a lithograph press. In recent years there has been an explosion of using different matrixes such as foil, metal, and now polyester plates.
Lithography is based on the idea that oil repels water. Simple!
Polyester plates are relatively inexpensive and allow prints to be created using direct drawings onto the plate, drawings scanned and laser printed onto the plate, or digitally printed images onto the plate such as photographs.
Inking is via roller and oil-based inks, and printed with an etching press.
I was introduced to the method by artist Nicola Hooper last year in a short workshop and I was hooked by its simplicity and the direct connection between drawing and printing. Since then I've undertaken workshops by artist Jenny Sanzaro-Nishimura and also Charles Cohan, Professor of Printmaking at the University of Hawaii.
This is another technique that I can combine with other printing techniques, including monoprint and cyanotype. Nicola also tells me that she uses it to produce text for her artist books, something I must try.
The possibilities are endless with the potential for editioning - something that I miss in monotype printing!
|Rolling up the ink onto the plate, with washes of Gum|
Arabic and water
|Heating the plate after drawing to set it|
|The three plates I created - left "Sparrow' is a drawing with|
a litho crayon and black Sharpie pens, middle is a
plate created from a photo of Noisy Miner birds,
on the right is a plate printed from a scan of Kangaroo Grass.
|The 'Sparrow' print.|
I like the drawing prints the best, they
have a beautiful textural quality.