Glossary of printmaking terms:

Aquatint:  An etching technique that permits tonal graduations from pale grey to deep black.

Drypoint:  An intaglio method in which lines are scratched into a bare metal plate with a needle.

Etching:  an intaglio process in which the artist draws with a variety of sharp tools on a metal plate that has been coated with a supple varnished.  The plate is then placed in an acid bath and the exposed metal is « bitten »

Linoleum cut:  A relief technique similar to woodcut. The design is carved into a sheet of linoleum.  The linoleum is then inked and printed by hand.

Lithography:  A planographic printing process in which the artists draws directly onto a stone using a greasy crayon or tusche.  The stone is then treated with a solution of nitric acide to make the blank areas attract water.  The stone is then damped with water and ink is applied with a roller.  The damp areas repel the ink, whereas the the greasy image attracts it.

Monotype:  A unique image printed from an unmarked glass or metal plate on which the artist has drawn or painted in ink.

Spit-bite:  The application of acid, saliva, or gum arabic directly to a copper plate that has been given an aquatint ground.

Sugar lift:  An etching method in which the design is painted with a sugar solution on a bare plate.  The plate is then covered with a light varnish and placed in hot water.  Where the sugar solution has been painted the sugar breaks through the varnish exposes the copper plate.  The plate is then placed in the acid to be etched.

Woodcut:  The artist draws on a wooden block.  Using gouges, chisels etc., he cuts away the negative areas of the image, leaving only the line.  The block is then inked with a roller and printed with a wooden spoon.



AP:  Artist proof, traditionally there are one or two printed in supplement to the edition.

Edition:  The print is signed over a number, this number is the total number of prints.

HC: Hors-Commerce, a print with no commercial value, used generally as an exhibition proof.

PP:  printer’s proof, a proof reserved for the printer who has printed the edition.

State proofs:  sometimes different states of the print are printed to document the evolution of an image between different stages.

Original multiple:   This contradiction references that as there might be 10 prints in the edition, that this edition is not a reproduction of an existing painting or drawing.