Printmaking Step-by-Step

Printmaking Step-by-Step

Beth Glick, an art major, is only two weeks away from the opening of her senior show. With varied interests in theater, graphic design and drawing, Glick decided to refine her printmaking skills this semester. Here we offer a tour of creating a monotype.

In Printmaking class, students work mainly with black, oil-based inks. Beth, however, wanted to experiment with color. “These inks are water-based, which means they are healthier and easier to clean up,” said Glick.

Starting with a clean Plexiglass plate, Glick chooses her first background color and inks it on with a brayer. Next, she dampens her paper, pats it dry and prints the plain-color plate. Choosing a contrasting color ink, Glick applies her design with a cotton-swab. “I decided to go with a nature theme. Sometimes I use real leaves and ink them into a print.”

Printmaking requires clean hands in order to prevent messing up the expensive papers. “Lotion is my best friend!” she exclaims.

Beth lays her paper onto the rolling press, and carefully positions the plate a second time on top of the first image. Then, she folds the padded “blankets” on top, and with a heave, turns the crank until it rolls through.

She slowly pulls back the paper and expectantly peeks at the result.

Success! Looking around at her numerous prints pinned onto the wall, it is clear that her work has developed over the semester, both in design and technique. “With most of my prints, I would go back into a print like this one, adding more layers and colors.”

–Senior Show II opens in the Hershberger Gallery at the Music Center on April 11.

Written by Andrea Kraybill

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