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PRINTMAKING- Introduction to Printmaking (ARTS160) and Intaglio and Relief (ARTS262) Spring 2002

Stephen Fox –

Objectives and Goals

This semester of printmaking will be devoted to Intaglio and Relief. This course will be taught as a beginning course (arts160), and no previous background in printing processes is required. The student, should, however, have design and/or drawing or painting skills. Students with previous experience (arts262) will be pushed to accomplish more technically difficult and artistically rich work while given the freedom to explore their own interests.

Through studio work, emphasis will be placed on the craftsmanship of technique used and on the image produced. Visual concerns and self expression as the main activity in art are important no matter what process or technique is used. In short, an image should first be worth looking at before the time is spent to put into multiples. Through presentation, discussions, and critiques, the student will become more articulate in communicating their own ideas.

This course is designed give the student in depth experimentation in creating single and multi-color relief prints and intaglio prints while encouraging creative exploration of ideas and content in projects which are tailored, to an extent, to the individual student's major area of interest. Technical areas to be addressed include color registration, edition printing, presentation, image origination, and paper selection. Aesthetic areas covered will include critiques and general classroom discussion as pertaining to the generation and evolution of ideas and images.

Planned Topics And Learning Activities:

  1. Relief printing, etching, drypoint, collagraph, and monotype.
  2. Paper registration, press operation, and general instruction and orientation to the printmaking facility.
  3. How to print an edition and prepare prints for presentation using archival materials.
  4. Using printmaking processes to develop imagery; aesthetic issues which incorporate basic principles of drawing and 2-D design.
  5. Developing a vocabulary for self-evaluation.

Course Calendar


Lecture topics

Workshops activities




Review Syllabus

Introduction of Basic Printmaking Methods:  General Overview Portfolio of examples in each of the areas of Printmaking

Solvent Transfer.

Gather supplies for class.

Prepare images for monotype.

Bevel plate.


Discussion of Papers and inks.

Explanation and examples of the MONOTYPE process.




Discussion of ORIGINAL PRINTS vs. Reproductions.

Discussion of terminology relating to printmaking:  Print, Prints, Edition, Signing and dating prints.

Create Collagraph plate

Prepare image for B&W relief.


Discuss Relief Printing

Transferring image to linoleum plate.

Cutting the plate.

Print Collagraph plate, begin work on Relief printing

Cut the plate. Experiment on test plate if desired.


CRITIQUE #1 Monotypes and Collagraph

Discuss Reduction Printing and 3-color Relief

Printing the Relief plate.

Prepare images for reduction print, transfer to plate, and begin cutting the plate if possible.



Reduction or 3 color Linoleum or woodcut. Cut plate as desired.

Cut plates and print if possible.


View Big Print video

Print Relief Edition

Finish printing Relief Edition. Remember to make extra prints for the Department and for instructor’s portfolio.  Matt a print.


Critique #2 Relief


Beveling the Plate, Clean/Polish the Plate, Dry point

Prepare line drawings for etching.



Applying hard ground and doing a line etching (acid bath safety).  If time allows, soft ground etching process.

Bevel your plate.  Apply Hard Ground.  Do line drawing.  Etch


Discuss Artist’s Book

Aquatint procedure (rosin or spray paint).  Printing the intaglio plate

Do an aquatint on your plate.


Discuss topics for final project.

Printing the Intaglio plate

Finish printing your Intaglio edition


CRITIQUE #3 Intaglio

Sugar Lift, mezzotint and other processes

Prepare Image for final project



Work on final project

Continue work on final project



Print final project

Prepare work for final critique. All work should be signed and numbered.


Final Critique





At least 3 different images


Series of 3 prints

etching & aquatint 

Edition of 3

Reduction or Multicolor print 

Edition of 3

unique prints

All you wish to present

The prints for the final critique must be presented in a good condition, properly labeled, and neatly presented in the portfolio. One or two of your prints may be collected to my own collection of students’ prints. If collected, they will be used solely for teaching and educational purposes.

Expected Outcome

Technical Skills

*   Possess a technical knowledge of inks, tools, materials and techniques specific to the discipline of printmaking.

*   Demonstrate by studio work produced the ability to manipulate the tools and techniques of the printmaker.

*   Identify and describe the four basic printmaking processes: stencil, relief, intaglio and planographic.

Conceptual Skills

*   Execute prints using a variety of processes that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of color theory, design principles and spatial illusion as they apply to printmaking.

Analytical Skills

*   Develop skill in evaluating his/her own work and the work of others.

Technological Skills

*   Understand the possibilities and limitations of computer technology as a tool for research and creative work.

Shop Policy

Every student has a responsibility to each other to keep the shop clean and safe. This means each student will thoroughly clean up after themselves and follow safety guidelines. The means to accomplish this will be included in technical demonstrations during class. Ignoring these responsibilities will be reflected in the final evaluation.

Method of Evaluation

Evidence and extent of the following characteristics will determine grades:


*   design qualities

*   content presentation

*   aesthetic qualities

*   time invested to create an innovative piece.

Attendance (as explained below)

Quality of work:

*   technical control

*   consistency of prints/editions

*   cleanliness of prints and studio usage.

Spirit of cooperation:

*   interaction with others in the studio

*   participation in discussions/critiques/demonstrations, etc.

*   exhibit desire to learn and persevere when challenged.

Grading And Attendance

Attendance is mandatory. Instruction and lectures are critical since printmaking is highly technical. Three absences or more constitutes lowering of entire session grade by one whole point - that is A to B. Each additional absence will continue to lower the semester grades. No excuses will be considered for absenteeism, but REASONS will be considered. Entering class late or leaving early will be counted as half absence. Five absences or more will constitute an F grade.

In addition to class attendance, the student will be expected to be present and working in the studio as needed to complete projects. The studio will have posted hours and evening studio sessions with the graduate assistant, present, to accommodate these needs.

Prints are usually in editions. Each edition will be geared to introduce a new technique within the given process. Themes may also be introduced to stimulate imagery. Editions not submitted by due date will receive a lower grade. Editions will be handed in as follows:

    1. All prints included in the edition should be consistent to each other in print quality.
    2. All prints should be signed and numbered.

Participation and attitude are very important. How effectively class time is used by the student will also be observed.

All preparation sketches for prints should be discussed first before the student initiates it on a plate. All work is to be original by the student. No working from direct sources such as other printed material or photographs without permission of the instructor. The student should challenge themselves technically and conceptually.


Your grade will be determined by attendance, participation and, most importantly, the assignments and projects completed, which will constitute the bulk of you grade. Your work will be evaluated on how well the instructions for each assignment or project were followed, technical proficiency, understanding of the material presented, creativity and effort, and your overall success and accomplishment in this class.

A(91-100) = All assignments completed, consistent superior quality technically, visually and conceptually. Participation in class discussions. No Absences
B(81-90) = Above average work. Completion of assignments. Participation in class.
C(71-80) = Completion of the assignments.
D(61-70) = Not all assignments completed properly. Poor Attendance.
F(00-60) = Failure of all of the above.

Participation and Critiques

Critiques are mandatory regardless whether you have completed your project or not. Critiques are a time to evaluate the work someone has done, not to criticize the person. Everyone in this class will be learning a lot of new technical information. Be supportive, and help each other out. If you have something that you want to share with the class related to the topics we are covering, please do so. I welcome all new input and dialogue.

Work done by someone other than yourself will be considered plagiarism and will result in a failing grade.

Be on time and prepared with proper materials to begin the work. You are expected to be working while class is in session.

Late Work

Late work will not be accepted unless prior arrangements have been made, and clear reasons for turning the work in late have been stated. In any instance, the late assignment may be downgraded.

Contacting Me

If you need to reach me outside of class hours, contact me through the office at (215) 968-8425 or to make arrangements.


Sketch book and assorted media (all not necessary but you will need an assortment to develop images):

DRY MEDIA: pencils: 2B, 4B, 6B, ebony, white, charcoal: compressed square sticks, vine charcoal, conte pencils: assorted colors, graphite sticks (square) erasers: kneaded, gum, and plastic.

WET MEDIA: India ink: black waterproof, dip pen, , poster tempera paints, and 4 Inexpensive Oil Painting Brushes: i.e.: 2 Flats, 2 Rounds, Small and medium brushes

MISCELLANEOUS: pencil sharpener, utility or mat knife, masking tape, pushpins, ruler (24" or 36"), one medium bastard file, one quart of mineral spirits (low odor paint thinner), one quart of cheap cooking oil, waterless hand cleaner, and protective rubber gloves (if desired).

Miscellaneous supplies and props as needed.

The student will be expected to supply all mat board necessary to present their work, and most of the paper required to print (some will be supplied by the department).

When supplies run out each student will be responsible for obtaining his own. There will be no reduction in required output due to shortages in supplies. Be wise in your use of available materials.

Rolls of paper towels as necessary (start with 4).

Optional apron or work clothes, this class will get messy, don’t wear anything that you would regret getting ink on.

Optional protective hand cream or gloves as required due to individual sensitivities or allergies.


Sharpie Marker.


Thin, soft found objects to create pattern and texture: leaves, lace, foil, etc., use your imagination.


Chipboard, mat board or similar product.

Acrylic medium, Matte or gloss (both are good, only one is necessary)

Fabrics and papers in assorted textures. (small quantities)

Assorted found objects – as above.

Relief Print

Linoleum or wood block (unmounted)

Carving tools (speedball carving set) and brayers

wooden spoon.


Intaglio plates - Zinc etching plates (6, size is optional, 4 for work, 2 for test (2”x3”). More may be required, depending on the student's ambitions).

3" bent burnisher

3' hollow scraper

etching needle or equivalent

2 or 3 small natural hair brushes (small)

4 sponge brushes for grounds.

Triangle, roulette, sharpening stone.


6 sheets for blotting paper

(approximately 10-15 sheets, get some now, some as you get a feeling for what you like)

For Monotype, Collagraph and Intaglio:

Stonehenge, 22" x 30"

Rives BFK, 22" x 30", white or gray

Arches Cover, 22" x 30", white or buff

For Relief:

Okawara, 19''x 22"

Mulberry (Asian Style Paper)

student hosho, kozo, chiri, nittigen, etc.

Kinwashi Cream Japanese paper


There are no required texts for this class, although I would recommend purchasing the following:

The Complete Printmaker : Techniques, Traditions, Innovations
by John Ross, Clare Romano, and Tim Ross

Reading List

Relief Printmaking - Clemson; Collagraph Printmaking-Wenninger; The Art of the Print - Eichenberg; Printmaking: History&Process - Saff and Saccilotto; Monotype: Mediums and Methods for Painterly Printmaking - Julia Ayres, Structure of the Visual Book- Smith, Hand Bookbinding, A Manual of Instruction – Aldren Watson, Japanese Bookbinding, Instructions from a Master Craftsman - Kojiro Ikegami; Etching, Engraving and other Intaglio Techniques – Leaf; The Complete Manual of Relief Printmaking – Clemson and Simmons

Supply Sources

Rembrandt Graphics, Rosemont, NJ 1-800-622-1887
Renaissance Graphics, Ivyland, PA, 215-357-5705/888-833-3398
Utrechs Art Supplies, Broad and Spruce Street, 215-546-7798
Pearls Art Supplies, 417 South Street, 215-238-1900
Triangle, Lawrenceville, NJ 609-883-3600
Mixed Media, Doylestown, PA 215-345-0980
Taws Artist Supplies, 1527 Walnut St. 563-8742
Pearl Paint (various locations – Cherryhill, New Brunswick, Manhattan)
Dick Blick, Allentown, PA
Daniel Smith, Seattle Washington.
New York Central, Manhattan (largest selection of paper)
Talas (archival materials)