Printmaking

The art of printmaking covers many techniques. Basically it is an art form where involves printing and this would usually be on paper. Printmaking differs from making prints where the former refers to the art of creating prints which are original and unique by the artist. On the other hand, making prints is a process by which one would reproduce a painting in its exact image. How this works is that ink is transferred onto the paper through a specific medium and this could include the likes fo metal plates, stone, or even silk screens. Where this is concerned, silkscreen art is a totally art form in itself.

Generally, there are a few categories involved in printmaking art. The most common method is known as relief that include woodcutting and woodblocks and this is also often associated with known styles like metal-cutting, lino-cutting and wood engraving. Another method is called Intaglio in which it covers the likes of etching, mezzotint, aquatint and engraving while Planographic covers monotyping, lithography and known digital techniques. Stencilling meanwhile is applied where the ink or paint is pressed onto the surface through a screen and this includes pochoir, screen printing and silkscreen printing. There are other techniques involve in printmaking too like collagraphy, foil imaging and others.

Among the old masters who have been known to use printmaking is the likes of Rembrandt where his prints have often been referred to as etching while some have labelled them as a combination of drypointing and engraving. Woodcutting is perhaps one of the more popular techniques where it is also known to be the earlier form of printmaking. Woodcutting was known to have originated from the methods adopted in printing on cloth where it would then grow into the printing of text and images on paper in China. Later on, woodcut of images would expand into Europe. Printmaking art has a long list of history and branches that it would eventually go on to influence a large group of art movements that include Pop Art and others. There are many other techniques that are used by artists in printmaking and this includes engraving and etching where the former is very common with 2-D and 3-D artworks while the latter is part of the family that include mezzotint and aquatint which are also techniques applied in this art form.

Printmaking in the contemporary art industry is very much a mixed-media type of body of work where artists are known to incorporate a series of different styles and methods to complete their work. Typically, printmaking art involve the use of mediums like wood and metal and then the images are imprinted before additional fine-tuning is applied. This is very much the method which was adopted in the area of silkscreen art as well. In Wan Jamarul’s ‘Japanese Girl in Malaysian Batik’, he exudes and displays his printmaking skills through the image of the woman where the rustic characteristics of the woodblock can be clearly seen. This is a typical artwork which one can use to illustrate how printmaking art exists and be created.

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