Etching hard ground is an intaglio printmaking process -- or the print made from such a process -- in which a plate, usually copper, is covered with an acid resistant ground, a film-like material often made of a mixture of materials such as bitumen, beeswax and aspheltum. See sources below for further discussion. Although the word engraving is employed here, the result is not an intaglio but a relief printing surface. A common method to accomplish this exacting task was to make registration holes in the margins of the printing matrix. For more detailed discussion of various color printing methods see the bibliography below.
Even though the end result is a real lithograph, it is not an original lithograph. An image first created in a medium other than a printmaking medium such as pen-and-ink drawing, oil painting, watercolor, etc, and is then photographed so that it can be printed in multiple copies whether the number be two, two hundred or two thousand-- or more is not an original print. The printed image taken from it is therefore an original print or impression, not a copy of anything.
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We have only seen reproductions of them, typically photo-mechanical reproductions -- which are indeed prints when the image is printed; and therein lies a big part of the difficulty -- understanding the difference between a photo-mechanical reproductive print and an original print. Traditionally lithography employs as its printing surface a flat piece of limestone especially limestone from a quarry in Kelheim, Germany but metal plates, especially zinc and aluminum plates are also commonly used. Canceled plate or stone: Even when an impression is annotated as being a specific state, the differences themselves may be very subtle and difficult to find. The plate is then placed in an acid bath any number of times, depending on the desired result. This is done by means of a roulette or a rocker, tools whose heads are covered with metal points which on being rolled or rocked over the surface of the plate create the indentations.
The etcher's line is therefore created indirectly by the acid and is said to be a bitten line. See also Mezzotint below. Another distinction must be made with regard to the degree of involvement of the artist within the printmaking process. In either case, the publishers of these prints thought it appropriate to specify on the print itself who did what. Editions of drypoints are necessarily small because the burr wears down quickly under the pressure of each run through the press so that it is not long before the desired effect created by the burr is reduced or disappears. The artist then covers those areas of the plate he does not want to print with an acid resistant coating know as stopout.
Lithography is based on the fact that grease and water do not mix, and, therefore, inked surfaces of the stone will print but surfaces that are wet with water will not. If immediately after this point the plate were inked and printed, the image would be totally black. Even though the end result is a real lithograph, it is not an original lithograph. Canceled plate or stone: The term impression is much preferable to copy because the latter suggests there is an original of which a certain number of reproductive copies has been made.
Engraved plates are inked and printed in ways generally described under Etching and Intaglio below. Etching -- soft ground: If immediately after this point the plate were inked and printed, the image would be totally black. Glossary of Printmaking Terms. Bibliography for further reading on printmaking techniques, terminology and the subject of what a print is. Woodcut Also called Woodblock:
The artist has either etched the image onto the plate before the ground was applied or draws or traces it directly onto the ground with a soft pencil. A piece of paper is placed onto the sticky soft ground and the artist, usually using a pencil or crayon draws the image on the upward facing side of the paper so that when the paper is pealed off the soft ground, the ground under the drawn lines adheres to the paper pealing away with it leaving the metal exposed in the configuration of the artist's image. Though more often printed with black ink, various techniques are available to produce color aquatints.
The individuals who did the copying may be thought of as artists themselves, possessing a wide range of artistic skills; or perhaps only as artisans or craftsmen, because no matter how fine their handwork, the involvement of the creative imagination in the work belonged to another. These prints are reproductions intended to look as much like the original as possible, and even if each of them is signed and numbered by the artist who created the original drawing or painting, it is still not an original print. The resulting granulated covering of the plate is called the ground. The original print has its origins in an art making process during which an image is created by an artist not on a surface that will become its permanent home -- as a canvas becomes the permanent home for a painting -- but on a printing surface from which the image will be transferred to its permanent home, most commonly a sheet or many sheets of paper, thus producing multiple originals. Engraved plates are inked and printed in ways generally described under Etching and Intaglio below. Another distinction must be made with regard to the degree of involvement of the artist within the printmaking process.
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After the final acid bath, the ground is stripped away, the plate inked and wiped as in etching see below and the image printed. Each entry is also assigned a catalogue number by which the work is commonly referred to in other reference sources, generally preceded by the author's name. A paste and the pressure of the press permanently affix one sheet to the other. The point is, apparently, that when an artist copies the work of another but imbues that copy with a qualtiy of uniqueness that can be attributed to and recognized as the art of the copier, then the print becomes a candidate for origianal print status. Linoleum yields limited possibilities for detail and because of its relative softness makes the carving less difficult than the other relief methods.
The point is, apparently, that when an artist copies the work of another but imbues that copy with a qualtiy of uniqueness that can be attributed to and recognized as the art of the copier, then the print becomes a candidate for origianal print status. An artist who makes original prints. In relief printmaking the ink sits above the surface of the block most commonly a woodblock or linoleum block.
- And a final difficulty emerges in trying to define what degree of involvement is required of the artist in the process of producing a print to make it qualify as an original print. It needs to be emphasized that the printing surface is not the artwork itself but merely a vehicle for transferring it, a part of a process. As a result lithography has often been seen as the print medium providing the closest parallel to drawing, making it both more natural for and popular with artists -- but perhaps less distinctive from other graphic media in result.
- If immediately after this point the plate were inked and printed, the image would be totally black. To the trained eye of the connoisseur, there is a world of difference between the line produced by a pencil drawing and the one produced by an etching, each to be treasured for its own intrinsic value. Impressions outside of an edition are common; thus, the number of impressions as indicated in pencil on a print is generally not the total number of extant impressions. After the final acid bath, the ground is stripped away, the plate inked and wiped as in etching see below and the image printed.
An original print is a work conceived by the artist in a graphic medium such as etching , lithography , woodcut , etc. See also Mezzotint below. When the printing process is complete and the plate, stone, block or other printing surface destroyed or cancelled all that remains are the printed sheets -- the impressions -- most commonly limited to a fixed number, and which, taken together, comprise an edition of original prints -- etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, etc. The glossary will continue to be developed over time. The artist who conceived of and executed the original image in a medium such as oil painting, drawing, etc.
Prints which are to one extent or another copies of the work of an artist in another medium are often termed Afters, meaning they are created after an original that existed before. Canceled Plate, Stone, Block, etc. Part of every original print fancier's pleasure comes from appreciating the special qualities of the various printmaking media and a particular artist's and perhaps his or her printer's ability to enrich a print through their exploitation. When the printing process is complete and the plate, stone, block or other printing surface destroyed or cancelled all that remains are the printed sheets -- the impressions -- most commonly limited to a fixed number, and which, taken together, comprise an edition of original prints -- a set of multiple originals. After the final acid bath, the ground is stripped away, the plate inked and wiped as in etching see below and the image printed.
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Rarely does anyone mistake an etching or woodcut for a drawing as might happen with a lithograph. One of the three traditional categories of original printmaking processes, the other two being intaglio and planography. First the term original print appears to be a contradiction in terms. Engraving is the simplest and most fundamental of the intaglio processes and is usually thought of as the earliest one used for making prints. The Print Council of America. Much larger editions of etchings are possible when a copper plate is steel-faced because the steel wears down more slowly than the copper as impression after impression is printed.