On Printmakers Day, we wanted to highlight The Definitive Guide to Printmaking Techniques by 1st Dibs which wonderfully explains the printing techniques you love to feast your eyes on, but may not necessarily know about. (Intaglio, anyone?) In the vein of art education and to gain an appreciation of the artists’ undertaking, we’d like to share with you the works of four contemporary printmakers.
Many of Joel Ostlind’s works are produced via copper plate etchings, depicting the full range of Western life, from Native American lodges to contemporary fly fishermen, telemark skiers and horses grazing under Wyoming skies. More work by Joel
A print made by incising lines into a metal plate with a sharp tool called a burin. After the image is drawn, the plate is inked, wiped clean, and then firmly pressed to paper so the ink remaining in the incised grooves is transferred. Considerable force is required to mark the metal, so the lines made by engraving tend to be stronger than those made through etching, and characterized by gentle tapering. Light and shade have to be created through cross-hatching since the technique is line-based.
The subtle layering of color in the woodblock process allows Leon Loughridge to capture the atmospheric qualities of the Southwestern landscape. More prints by Leon
This type of relief print is made by carving a block of wood with a knife or gouge. The surface is then inked with a roller and the pressed onto paper. Unlike with intaglio techniques, the section of the surface that has not been incised is what appears in the print. It’s one of the oldest printing techniques, first used in 9th-century China, mastered by Dürer during the Northern Renaissance and famously associated with the ukiyo-e artists of 17th- and 18th-century Japan. German Expressionists like Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner embraced the medium for its bold, graphic power in the 1920s, and artists continue to use it today.
Paula’s works are predominantly drypoint monoprints and monotypes. Her expressive style is reflected in the immediacy and spontaneity of drawing directly into a copper plate using a steel etching needle. During the printing process, ink is intentionally left on the plate so that she can freely wipe, smear and draw into that residual ink. This is what qualifies these artworks as drypoint monoprints and monotypes. More prints by Paula
A type of print — usually unique — created by altering the surface of an existing etched plate by adding more ink to it. Edgar Degas is one of the most notable artist to experiment extensively with the monoprint.
Colorado printmaker Sherrie York has a reputation for lyrical and expressive works on paper. The beauty and mysteries she discovers on her walks inspire York’s nature-focused linocuts. Her printmaker’s eye is drawn to intricate flora, the behavior of birds, and patterns across land and seascapes. More prints by Sherrie
Another type of relief print made by cutting away passages on a linoleum sheet mounted on a block. Since linoleum doesn’t have a grain, like wood, a linocut tends to produce a less textured print than a woodcut. Picasso explored the technique in the 1950s and ’60s and created some intense images.