Exploring Different Art Forms in Prints

Art comes in many different forms from drawings to painting, media to time-based art that include both images and sound. Printing is a two-dimensional art form that is created by an impression transferred from one surface onto another surface. Prints in general, except for mono-types, come in multiples to form an edition. Each print is identified via a signature and number since the 19th century. It is also very common that the prints are produced in a limited number to produce images part of a limited edition, meaning there are only a fixed or certain number of prints available. The tools that are used in creating a print are almost always destroyed at the completion of the limited edition prints to ensure no more can be printed afterwards.

Woodcut Technique in Printing

The earliest form of printing is the Woodcut technique, which is a relief printing type first used in the Far East. The prints are made of recessed areas that are raised via wood, although now the relief printing techniques are varied when it comes to the creation of different prints.


A steel tool made of hardened steel called the burin is now used to cut the line into the metal plate surface. The incisions appearance depends on the pressure and angle applied during use of the burin, once the ink gets applied it is retained in the different incision to create the impressions.


This print type is a basically an engraving form in which the whole metal plate is first roughened and then afterwards scraped and then polished to several degrees. This cause the inks to be held in different quantities on the paper. This method is popular to reach a good range of tones in printing.


It is a variant of engraving and in this print -type the intaglio method is employed. The sharp metal point called the drypoint is used to created burrs or ridges in the lines and the technique enables the ink to leave blurry or soft lines.

Screen print

This is probably the most popular of all print type since it offers the finest detail capturing as well as the boldest colours. To create the perfect screen involves creating a stencil of any image which is either attached to a piece of fabric, or paper stretched over any kind of frame. The screen with the image is then placed on top of the surface that could be glass, paper, or many other surfaces suitable for screen printing and the paint or ink t is forced through the screen or fabric by the use of a rubber blade onto the surface. More images or more colours can be added via the use of different screens. With the variety of modern technological options, even the finest detail can be transposed.

Mono type One-Off Printing

Mono type printing is completely unlike any of the other printing forms and is used for one-off prints created by painting or a drawing onto a smooth plate that is then transferred onto paper.