Published on September 30, 2008
Chapter 8 Printmaking A variety of techniques developed to create multiple copies of a single image. Basic printmaking methods - relief, intaglio, lithography, screen printing, mono-prints Munch, The Scream, 1895 lithography
A variety of techniques developed to create multiple copies of a single image.
History of Printmaking Long before the printing press was invented, printmaking was a medium of communication. The first evidence of the use of a stencil to create an image was found in the cave paintings in France and Spain. Prehistoric man placed his hand on the wall of the cave and blew pulverized pigment around it. The ancient Sumerians engraved designs on stone cylinder seals some 3000 years ago, using them to print on clay tablets. Historians believe that it was the Chinese who produced the first prints on paper, as far back as the 2nd century AD. By 600 AD, the Chinese were stenciling intricate and colorful patterns on the fashionable fabrics worn by the wealthy. It was the Japanese, however, who refined the woodblock print and authenticated editions of prints, beginning a commercialized art trade. These prints were distributed throughout Europe, eventually leading to the printing of playing cards and religious images. Playing cards, 1745 Hand Print Chauvet cave, 28,000 BC
Relief Printmaking Woodcut prints first appeared in the 8th century in the East and in the early 15th century in the West. Hiroshige, Plum Estate 1857 Hokusai, The Great Wave Many of these two artists' prints were to exert important influences on European printmakers and their compositions would influence Impressionist painters.
The production of classic Japanese woodblock prints is a fairly complex process, involving a number of steps, each usually performed by a different person, one skilled in that particular step. Japanese prints were sometimes produced in limited editions as 'high art', but more often they were produced in far larger editions as popular, mass-produced art. During the hey-day of "ukiyo-e" printing, it was not uncommon for different steps to be performed in different establishments, each with a particular specialty.
Relief printmaking Relief – The oldest type of printmaking process is relief printmaking. A relief print is like a rubber stamp in that what is raised on the surface will print and the areas lower than the surface will not print. The ink is applied to the relief plate with a brayer, paper is placed on the inked surface and rubbed with a baren, and then the print is pulled off, resulting in a mirror image of the original. Relief processes include woodcut, wood engraving, or linocut. Some modern examples of relief prints are fingerprints, rubber stamps, or tire marks. Ernst Kirchner, Alpine Shepherd , 1917
Relief – The oldest type of printmaking process is relief printmaking. A relief print is like a rubber stamp in that what is raised on the surface will print and the areas lower than the surface will not print. The ink is applied to the relief plate with a brayer, paper is placed on the inked surface and rubbed with a baren, and then the print is pulled off, resulting in a mirror image of the original. Relief processes include woodcut, wood engraving, or linocut. Some modern examples of relief prints are fingerprints, rubber stamps, or tire marks.
Traditionally black and white designs cut into a soft wood along the grain. Color can be printed with single or multiple blocks and each color has its own block of wood and is registered to line up in the exact place on each print. Wood grain can be seen and it is difficult to work against the grain. Edvard Munch, 1905, woodcut
Albrecht Durer Melencolia 1514 wood engraving Wood engravings are done on the “ends” of a block of wood. A several blocks are glued together and then the ends are sanded and engraved for printmaking.
A wood engraving is different than a woodcut in that the wood engraving uses the end grain of the wood rather than the wood plank, which is used in a woodcut. Wood engraving is easier to cut in all directions than a woodcut and can withstand the pressure of a printing press.
Edmund Evans is considered one of the greatest wood-engravers of the Victorian era. In The Art Album , he reproduced the watercolor paintings of some of the best-known artists of the day. While some of the watercolors convert well into wood-engravings, it is clear in others that this is not the best method for reproducing the soft, transparent look of this medium.
Linoleum Cuts or Linocut Linoleum is modern in development and artists start with a rubbery, synthetic surface of linoleum and take out areas that are not intended to be inked. There is no grain on linoleum and it can be cut with ease in any direction. Elizabeth Catlett, linocut prints I am a negro woman c.1941 Sharecropper, 1968
The linocut is a printmaking technique similar to that of the woodcut, the difference being that the image is engraved on linoleum instead of wood. Since linoleum offers an easier surface for working, linocuts offer more precision and a greater variety of effects than woodcuts. Long disparaged by serious artists as not challenging enough, the linocut came into its own after artists like Picasso and Matisse began to work in that technique. Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Young Girl (after Cranach) , 1958 Henri Matisse, from Pasiphae suite, 1944
Intaglio Printmaking Intaglio – is opposite of relief – areas below the surface hold the ink for printing. The image to be printed is cut or scratched into a metal surface with steel tools or etched into the surface by acid. Damp paper is then placed under a roller and a print is created from the pressure leaving a characteristic plate mark around the print. Cooper plates are traditionally used but zinc, steel, aluminum and Plexiglas are can also be used as printing plates. The word intaglio in Italian means “carving” or “indentation.” In an intaglio print, what is removed or is under the surface will print—the opposite of a relief print. Since a printing press is necessary to force the ink that is under the surface onto the paper, a strong material like metal (or sometimes plastic) must be used for the printing plate. The deeper the lines are cut onto the surface, the darker and thicker the line. Forms of intaglio printmaking are engraving, dry point, etching and aquatint.
Intaglio – is opposite of relief – areas below the surface hold the ink for printing. The image to be printed is cut or scratched into a metal surface with steel tools or etched into the surface by acid. Damp paper is then placed under a roller and a print is created from the pressure leaving a characteristic plate mark around the print. Cooper plates are traditionally used but zinc, steel, aluminum and Plexiglas are can also be used as printing plates. The word intaglio in Italian means “carving” or “indentation.” In an intaglio print, what is removed or is under the surface will print—the opposite of a relief print. Since a printing press is necessary to force the ink that is under the surface onto the paper, a strong material like metal (or sometimes plastic) must be used for the printing plate. The deeper the lines are cut onto the surface, the darker and thicker the line.
Forms of intaglio printmaking are engraving, dry point, etching and aquatint.
Engraving Engraving, which began in the fifteenth century, is a process in which the metal on the plate is removed by cutting it away with a burin with just the right amount of pressure. Engraving is a very difficult process to master and requires much time and patience to complete, but can withstand being under the heavy pressure of the press multiple times. 1691 copper plate engraving
In 18th century Europe, the art of botanical drawing and topographical views of country houses and formal gardens, reached a pinnacle of artistic design and execution. Bound into volumes and engraved by master engravers, these drawings were immensely popular. The hand colored engravings all date to the early 1700's.
Dry Point Using a thin pointed tool with a steel tip the artist digs lines into a soft cooper or zinc plate leaving a burr or rough edge. The burr catches the ink and leaves a slightly blurred line. Drypoint is similar to engraving because both use tools to scratch into the surface of the metal, but in drypoint, the metal is displaced rather than removed. The resulting burrs that form when the metal is scratched with a drypoint needle catch the ink, and when printed, the resulting image is soft and fuzzy, as seen in Mary Cassatt’s Baby’s Back ( 8-12). Since the lines are shallow, the drypoint image does not stand up to multiple times under the press.
Etching Etching looks more like a drawing. In etching, lines are removed by using acid rather than a tool. First, the metal plate is coated with a ground, such as asphaltum. Then the image is drawn onto the coated plate by scratching into the coated surface. Next the plate is submerged into acid. The longer the plate is in the acid, the more material is removed (called biting), resulting in thicker deeper lines. Albrecht Durer, Adam and Eve , 1504 (with details of cross-hatched lines)
Rembrandt was a prolific printmaker, creating approximately 300 plates, which represent virtually every aspect of human endeavor. Some of his most popular prints were of religious subjects. Christ Preaching 1652 at left. Goya's enigmatic Los Caprichos series includes scenes of witchcraft, misery, and human depravation, condemns superstitions and denounces the decadence of the Church, the corruption of the Monarchy, and the brutality of the uneducated. The series of Los Caprichos includes 80 prints that combine etching, engraving and aquatint. The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, 1799, at right is one of the more famous prints in the suite.
Aquatint This technique is so called because its finished prints often resemble watercolors or wash drawings. It is a favorite method of printmakers to achieve a wide range of tonal values. The technique consists of exposing the plate to acid through a layer or sometimes successive layers of resin or sugar. The acid bites the plate only in the spaces between the resin particles, achieving a finely and evenly pitted surface that yields broad areas of tone when the grains are washed off and the plate is inked and printed. A great many tones can be achieved on a single plate by exposing different areas to different acid concentrations or different exposure times. Aquatint techniques are generally used in combination with etching or engraving to achieve linear definition. The plate is then bitten in the acid bath and the resulting print has a soft, painterly look. Edvard Munch: The Kiss Mary Cassatt: Mother and Child
Lithography was the first fundamentally new printing technology since the invention of relief printing in the fifteenth century. It is a mechanical planographic process in which the printing and non-printing areas of the plate are all at the same level, as opposed to intaglio and relief processes in which the design is cut into the printing block. Lithography is based on the chemical repellence of oil and water. Designs are drawn or painted with greasy ink or crayons on specially prepared limestone. The stone is moistened with water, which the stone accepts in areas not covered by the crayon. An oily ink, applied with a roller, adheres only to the drawing and is repelled by the wet parts of the stone. The print is then made by pressing paper against the inked drawing. Kath Kollowitz Edvard Munch
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was associated with the Parisian night-life, especially in his posters for the Moulin Rouge, a famous Paris nightclub. Jane Avril was an actress who danced at the club. Another dancer, "La Goulue" (the glutton) earned her name by out-drinking everyone. The artist created a caricacture self-portrait (center) which emphasized his shortened legs. His dwarf stature was created from a couple of horse-riding accidents in his teens. He broke each of his legs and they failed to grow afterwards due to a genetic disorder. Despite his crippling (or perhaps because of it), he became one of the more important artists of his time, especially influential in his graphic style in his use of lithography.
Silk Screen Printing Screen printing, or silk screening, is a stencil-based process resulting in a direct image (not reversed as the other printmaking methods). Silk or nylon material is stretched across a surface. To create the desired image, the pores or areas of the material are blocked with an emulsion or film. Ink is then forced through the remaining open areas with a squeegee. Fine art prints using this process are called serigraphs.
Associated with commercial advertising and commercial printing, Andy Warhol chose the medium to deliberately challenge the time-honored concept of artistic originality. His Marilyn series is one of his more famous expressions, whereon he produced the same photographic image a number of times, each time changing the colors and purposefully "mis-registering" or overlapping the stencils.
Robert Indiana's iconic Love (1967) was initially conceived as a Christmas card design for The Museum of Modern Art, published in 1965. Its boldface, stenciled letters had the visual impact of an advertisement or logo, and the image reached millions when it was reproduced as an eight-cent U. S. postage stamp in 1973, becoming a mass-produced commodity itself.
Screen Printing Usuyuki, 1981 Made by Jasper Johns (American, born 1930);Johns began experimenting with printmaking early in his career and quickly mastered the medium, using traditional techniques to produce innovative works. "Usuyuki," Japanese for "light snow," is the title given to a series of prints that Johns created in collaboration with Simca Print Artists in the early 1980s. This print features Johns's cross-hatching motif in a variety of designs, colors, and formats. This example is among the largest and most complicated prints from the series, utilizing twelve screens to create subtle gradations of color and a collage like layered effect.
Monoprints A monoprint is a one of a kind print achieved by applying colored inks to a smooth surface and then transferring that image to paper. The earliest monoprints date back to the 1600's. Many famous artists including Gaugin, Rembrandt, and Degas experimented with monoprint techniques. Monoprinting is a wonderfully spontaneous art form which is well suited to mixed media techniques. The method is aptly named because it is one image (mono) painted on a plate with inks (oil based or waterbased) and then transferred to paper by hand pressure or with the means of a press.
What is the difference between a fine art print and a reproduction? A fine art print is a "multiple original." Usually within the confines of a limited edition, the artist conceives and executes his work specifically in the context of one or more hand-produced techniques such as etching, woodcut, silk screen, lino cut, etc. Each of the works are created either by the artist or under his direct supervision by a master printmaker. Each are considered "original" and signed by the artist. A "reproduction", on the other hand, is photo-mechanically reproduced, and not created by the artist. There is generally an unlimited production of these prints usually called posters, and they have little monetary value, in most cases.
Chapter 9 Camera Arts and Digital Imaging
A Brief History of Photography We owe the name "Photography" to Sir John Herschel, who first used the term in 1839, the year the photographic process became public. The innovations which would lead to the development of photography existed long before the first photograph. The camera obscura had been in existence for at least four hundred years, but its use was limited to its purpose as an aid to drawing. It was discovered that if a room was completely darkened, with a single hole in one wall, an inverted image would be seen on the opposite wall. A person inside of the room could then trace this image, which was upside-down. The earliest record of the uses of a camera obscura is found in the writings of Leonardo da Vinci, who may have used it to understanding perspective. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a table-top model was developed. By adding a focused lens and a mirror, it was possible for a person outside of the box to trace the image which was reflected through it.
It was a French man, Nicephore Niepce (pronounced Nee-ps) who produced the first photograph in 1827. By using chemicals on a metal plate, placed inside of a camera obscura, he was able to record an obscure image of the view outside of his window. He called his process "heliography". The image is difficult to decipher, but there is a building on the left, a tree, and a barn immediately in front. The exposure lasted eight hours, so the sun had time to move from east to west, appearing to shine on both sides of the building.
Daguerre (pronounced Dagair) most famous for photography regularly used a camera obscura as an aid to painting in perspective 1826 learned of the work of Niepce 1829 signed a partnership with Niepce reduced the exposure time to thirty minutes 1837 discovered a chemical process which would permanently fix the image invented new process he called a Daguerreotype Drawbacks - length of the exposure time ruled out portraiture the image was laterally reversed image was very fragile was a "once only" system because it was fixed to metal
Photography as Art Camera is a vehicle for - personal expression - symbolic communication - eye-catching compositions Alfred Stieglitz, American crusader for art photography movement. His work was produced with no manipulation of the negative. In his 1903 photograph, right, The Flatiron Building, he arranged visual fields so that they echo each other. The basic shape of the foreground tree is answered in the stand of trees in the middle ground, but the fork of its branches also suggests the angle of the building. Like the foreground tree, this building seems to emerge from the ground, an impression supported by the row of seats. The recession of the ground from front to back of the picture is contradicted above the horizon where the building and the black tree branches seem to touch. Steiglitz liked to show the poetry he saw in urban reality in his early photographed work.
Photography As A Document of the Times Lewis Hine was hired to research child labor in the early 20th century, when the practice was common. His photographs of children working in factories, on railroads, and other dangerous working environments brought greater awareness to this problem. Soon after his photographs were published, child labor laws went into effect. Child in Spinning Mill 1908 Boy in Glass Factory 1908
Votes for Women is a staged photo, where men are making fun of the women's movement's efforts to establish rights for women. Below, The explosion of the German airship The Hindenburg was perhaps the first disaster to be thoroughly documented in photographs.
When the allies marched into the Nazi Germany in 1945, they were shocked to discover the living conditions of the prisoners in the concentration camps. Though this is not one of the more devastating photographs compared to those of stacked human bodies, it is certainly a compelling image. Margaret Bourke-White, No Turning Away 1945 Another disaster of the 1930s was the Great Depression. Dorothea Lange was commissioned to create a portfolio of photographs documenting the migrant farm workers in California. Her famous image, Migrant Mother 1936, captures the despair of the times.
Most people embraced this new technology of the camera with great enthusiasm. A few religious zealots, however, claimed that it was the work of the devil. Many artists who had trained for years in the techniques of portrait painting also found it a threat to their livelihood. Some painters dubbed the new invention "the foe-to-graphic art." A number of artists turned to photography for their livelihood, while others cashed in on the fact that the images were in monochrome and began coloring them. Some painters also used photography to assist them in painting, some of these artists were Gauguin, Cezanne, Courbet, Lautrec, Delacroix and Degas. Photography would eventually change the purpose of painting from one which focused on outward facts of reality to more emphasis on personal vision. Civil war field camera, at right
Pioneers of Motion Photography One of the greatest pioneers of motion photography was Eadweard Muybridge . Muybridge's main claim to fame was his exhaustive study of movement of both animals and humans. The story goes that an owner of race horses bet a friend that when a horse gallops all four feet are, at one point, off the ground simultaneously. Using twenty four cameras, Muybridge was able to photograph a horse galloping, each triggered off by the breaking of a trip-wire on the course. In the 2nd and 3rd frame of the photograph, you can see that the horse-owner was right.
Chapter 10 Graphic Design and Illustration The main function of graphic design is to communicate messages in printed and visual forms (television, product packaging, exhibitions, and computer graphics) that identify, inform, and persuade. To be most effective, graphic design must catch the attention of the viewer while communicating a specific message. It is an art form, but one with a commercial and mass marketing appeal, allowing the art to become highly accessible to a wide ranging audience. One of the main common forms of graphic design is advertising.
Graphic Design Graphic design practice embraces a range of cognitive skills, aesthetics and crafts, including typography, visual arts and page layout. Like other forms of design, graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated. Graphic Design spans the history of humankind from the caves of Lascaux to the dazzling neon of Ginza. In both this lengthy history and in the relatively recent explosion of visual communication in the 20th and 21st centuries, there is sometimes a blurring distinction and over-lapping of advertising art, graphic design and fine art. After all, they share many of the same elements, theories, principles, practices and languages, and sometimes the same benefactor or client. In advertising art the ultimate objective is the sale of goods and services. In graphic design, "the essence is to give order to information, form to ideas, expression and feeling to artifacts that document human experience.“ The paintings in the caves of Lascaux around 14,000 BC and the birth of written language in the third or fourth millennium BC are both significant milestones in the history of graphic design and other fields which hold roots to graphic design. The Book of Kells is an early example of graphic design. It is a lavishly decorated hand-written copy of the Gospels of the Christian Bible created by Celtic Monks around 800AD. Page from the Book of Kells: Folio 114v, Decorated text.
Uses for Graphic Design Graphic design is used whenever visual clarity and creativity are applied to the presentation of text and imagery. Contemporary design practice has been extended to the modern computer often referred to as interactive design or multimedia design. Anywhere there is a need to communicate visually; there is potential enhancement of communications through graphic design. Below are a few examples. Administration From road signs to technical schematics, from interoffice memorandums to reference manuals, graphic design enhances transfer of knowledge. Readability is enhanced by improving the visual presentation of text. Intricate and clever pictures are used when words cannot suffice.
Advertising Graphic designs have a unique ability to sell a product or idea through effective visual communications. It is applied to products as well as elements of company identity like logos, colors, and text, together defined as branding. Branding has increasingly become important in the range of services offered by many graphic designers, alongside corporate identity and the terms are often used interchangeably.
Entertainment From decoration, to scenery, to visual story telling, graphic design is applied to entertainment. From cover to cover in novels and comic books, from opening credits to closing credits in film, from programs to props on stage, graphic design helps set the theme and the intended mood. Education Graphics are used in textbooks for subjects such as geography, science, and math to illustrate theories and diagrams. A common example of graphics in use to educate is diagrams of human anatomy. Graphic design is applied to layout and formatting of educational material to make the information more accessible and more readily understandable.
Journalism From scientific journals to news reporting, the presentation of opinion and facts is often improved with graphics and thoughtful compositions of visual information - known as information design. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, television and film documentaries may use graphic design to inform and entertain. With the advent of the web, information designers with experience in interactive tools such as Adobe Flash are increasingly being used to illustrate the background to news stories. Web Graphic designers are often involved in web design. Combining visual communication skills with the interactive communication skills of user interaction and online branding, graphic designers often work with web developers to create both the look and feel of a web site and enhance the online experience of web site visitors.
Typography Display typography encompasses: posters; book covers; typographic logos and word marks; billboards; packaging; on-product typography; calligraphy; graffiti; inscriptional and architectural lettering; poster design and other large scale lettering signage; business communications and promotional collateral; advertising; and kinetic typography in motion pictures and television; vending machine displays; online and computer screen displays.
Typography has long been a vital part of promotional material and advertising. Designers often use typography to set a theme and mood in an advertisement; for example using bold, large text to convey a particular message to the reader. Type is often used to draw attention to a particular advertisement, combined with efficient use of color, shapes and images. Today, typography in advertising often reflects a company's brand. Fonts used in advertisements convey different messages to the reader, classical fonts are for a strong personality, while more modern fonts are for a cleaner, neutral look. Bold fonts are used for making statements and attracting attention. The wanted poster for the assassins of Abraham Lincoln was printed with lead and woodcut type, and incorporates photography.
Illustration An illustration is a visualization such as a drawing, painting, photograph or other work of art that stresses subject more than form. The aim of an illustration is to elucidate or decorate textual information such as a story, poem or newspaper article by providing a visual representation. The earliest forms of illustration were prehistoric cave paintings. Before the invention of the printing press, illuminated manuscripts were hand-illustrated. Illustration has been used in China and Japan since the 8th century, traditionally by creating woodcuts to accompany writing.
Illustrations can: - give faces to characters in a story; - display examples of an item described in an academic textbook - visualize step-wise sets of instructions in a technical manual; - communicate subtle thematic tone in a narrative; - link brands to the ideas of human expression, individuality and creativity; - inspire the viewer to feel emotion to expand on the linguistic aspects of the narrative.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar , 1969 This all-time favorite not only follows the very hungry caterpillar as it grows from egg to cocoon to beautiful butterfly, but also teaches the days of the week, counting, good nutrition and more. Striking pictures and die-cut pages offer interactive fun. My Favorite Illustrator and Author – Eric Carle
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