Printmaking Techniques: Ancient Craft That Is Still Flourishing Today

Printmaking Techniques: Ancient Craft That Is Still Flourishing Today

What do you know about the art of printmaking? This art form originated in Ancient China and evolved into what we all know today. Essentially, printmaking is a process of transferring an image from one surface to another. This concept is familiar to people who live in the current world where the majority of items are mass-produced. But printmaking is not as simple as that — contemporary artists have found a way to make prints and use them to create unique pieces. There are many different kinds of printmaking techniques, so let us focus on the most popular ones.

Three Printmaking Techniques That Are Popular Today


Woodcut is one of the oldest printmaking techniques. Apart from significantly influencing printmaking in general, it also allowed more people to gain access to literature. Books became easier to produce in larger quantities and for a smaller price. However, the process was still meticulous, so only popular religious texts were printed that way. Woodcuts include engraving negative spaces into a piece of wood and covering the remaining surface with ink.


Linocut is similar to woodcut in the way that it also involves engraving. However, instead of wood, a piece of linoleum would be used. It is a relatively new printmaking technique that was invented in the 20th century. Those who are just starting to create prints usually start with linocut because the soft surface of linoleum is much easier to work with. Moreover, it is much cheaper than some of the other materials that are used in printmaking.


While in the two previously described printmaking techniques the image is carved into a piece of wood or linoleum (also known as relief printmaking), monotype is a technique that requires no alterations of the surface at all. The distinguishing feature of this medium is that it can only produce one print: a piece of glass or a gel printing plate would be covered in paint or ink and then pressed against a piece of paper. It is a quick process, meaning this technique is very suitable for beginner artists since it does not require professional equipment.

Printmaking as an art medium is very exciting. There are many other art techniques and just as many ways to get creative with your piece. You can try printmaking for yourself to see where your inspiration takes you.