Our printmaking course offers beginners and intermediate students the opportunity to discover the endless possibilities that this medium can offer. Terms may be attended either individually or as a continuous year of study.
We will cover a wide range of printmaking techniques throughout the year, in a non-toxic environment and use water-based inks. Each term a new print process will be introduced giving students an excellent printmaking overview.
This hands-on course will cover the finer techniques of printmaking, demonstrating good ink applications, colour roll-up techniques and chine collé throughout each print process.
All terms will include a strong focus on professional practice in covering the print edition, continuing to create bodies of prints combining a variety of print processes together. This will be an opportunity to refine individual conceptual concerns, working towards a resolution.
Demonstrations will be delivered at each stage, supported by documentation and open discussions. By the end of the year, students will hold a cohesive body of work showing a good development of ideas and have a good understanding of basic printmaking techniques.
"For me, it’s about making an impression of something, introducing new ideas and skills that students can include and extend on into their own practice" - Alexis Neal
NB: Most of the materials required for this course are supplied and included in your course fee. For further information consult the materials list below. BSA has a small shop on-site for purchasing extra print materials.
Term 1 will focus on drypoint, the most direct of all Intaglio techniques. A sharp drypoint needle and a metal plate or Plexiplate are all materials required. The image is produced by scoring the surface with a sharp needle to create a burr. When the burr is new, the print is rich, cross-hatching creates velvety black areas and richness to your image. Textured or different tools will also allow different marks and tone. Students will be encouraged to use a variety of tools for different effects and surface quality.
In Term 2 students will be introduced to the fundamental techniques of etching using a 6:1 nitric acid mix with zinc plates in a safe and ventilated environment. Good plate preparation will be demonstrated followed by hardground, focusing on line work and soft ground exploring the impressions of textured materials and drawn qualities. Aquatint techniques will be applied with enamel spray to allow a variety of tone and velvety blacks that create mood and depth.
Term 3 involves monotype/relief printing, a simple and effective technique of understanding ink applications and transparency. Colour roll-up applications can be used for soft colour backgrounds to highlight and add interest to a printed image. Coloured areas can be created from blended layers and by using cut stencils or shaped plates. The process allows for working intuitively, building subtle layers, making gestural marks, and moving ink like paint. Additionally, printing from a relief (textured plate) creates an impression from that patterned surface.
Term 4 studies Linocut and Woodcut; widely known forms of relief printmaking. The raised surface contains the positive image that is printed. The background area or negative space is carved away leaving white or non-printed areas. This print process allows a variety of mark-making through the use of different woodcutting tools and sandpapers that encourage a variety of line and tone. There are endless possibilities with these two print processes that include reduction cut, four colour separations and multi-block printing. There are many options for colour experimentation and block arrangement for various desirable effects.