29 Sept 2016- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Lithography, with Phil Bowden.

If you are a fan, like me, by the way that watercolour or India ink pools and dries with a halo of pigmentation, then you will highly appreciate the reticulation effect when Tusche dries on a limestone slab. It requires many steps, but I am sure these would become second nature over time, and certainly worth it for the quality of prints made through this process. The tonal range forms like a cumulus landscape- beautiful.

And now after paying more attention to lithography as a process, it is more obvious why prints from Daumier, Goya, and Redon (just to name a few) are so impressive, and of course etched or rather off-set into our brains. It is not just the illustrations that the artists created, but the printing effect in conjunction with the image has contributed to the overall impact of prints.

I have to say that I do prefer the effects of drawing directly on to the limestone, rather than creating a positive on mark resist for the more “modern” plate lithographic process. But, the preservation of detail from the positive exposed to the plate is rather encouraging, so I would like to do further tests to see how a photographic image responds to the photolithography process.

There is also something quite nice about the machinery. The way it grasps the paper and holds it in place. Watching the inked image on the plate off-set onto the roller and then finally cloned onto the paper is curious and satisfying. I would also like to explore how registration might work with this process, as the mechanical grasp might assist in positioning the paper, just right.

I wouldn’t dream of trying to over complicate the already complicated lithography process when printing from limestone. One colour is not a sacrifice, and I did learn a colour trick that could be used in this process, from Dave Fortune’s Silkscreen workshop. I will discuss this next.

Reticulation on limestone
Reticulation on limestone

Lithography tools

My workshop print