Albrecht Dürer, German Master Printmaker(1470-1528) Knight Death and the Devil, Engraving, 1513, 8" x 10". Click on the image above to open a great web page on Dürer's techniques in the Spencer Museum of Art Printroom web site.
What is Printmaking?
Printmaking is an indirect means of creating art by transferring an image or design by contact with a matrix such as a block, plate, stone, or screen.
To gain an understanding of printmaking, please click on MoMA's website What is a Print?
Also, visit the Printroom website and click on Image Maps of Printmaking Techniques.
There are four basic manual processes used in traditional printmaking.
wood-cut, wood engraving, linoleum-cut
dry point, engraving, etching, aquatint, mesotint
screenprint (silk-screen, serigraphy)
Original Print vs. Reproduction?
An original print is a work of art created through contact with a matrix such as a stone, block, plate, or screen that was created by the artist; it must have been printed manually by the artist or under the artist's direct supervision and was approved by the artist for quality and excellence.
Printed reproductions of drawings or paintings, no matter how aesthetically pleasing, are not to be considered original prints.
To gain a better understanding of an original print vs. a reproduction or process print click on WHAT IS AN ORIGINAL PRINT?
More information on
"Original prints" and "Limited-Edition prints"
What is Giclee?
A fancy sounding name for a color copy. The name derives from the French for "spurt" - it usually refers to an Iris print. Iris is a high-quality type of inkjet printer - a general designation for the large class of printers used to make color copies of computer or digital images. Inkjet printers make use of tiny nozzles to deliver exact amounts pigment to precise locations on the paper.
Some artists are using this technology to print original digital images, while many others are using it as a commercial means to produce color reproductions of their paintings.
Recommended External Links
Spencer Museum of Art Printroom Home Page - Image Maps of Printmaking Techniques
and Glossary of Printmaking Terms
Sources for Printmaking Information:
Grabowski, Beth. A Printshop Handbook. University of NC, Chapel Hill, NC. Brown & Benchmark, 1994.
Heller, Jules. Printmaking Today. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.
Saff, Donald and Deli Sacilotto. Printmaking: History and Process. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978.
Stay tuned for more art media pages -- there are many art-making materials for study. I'll continue to add more all the time.
*Online Art Instructors* - Please feel free to link to any of my pages for your online discussions and other learning activities.
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