Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix or plate. They are not only multipliable, but also easy to transport and exhibit. This has enabled printmaking to play an important role in spreading knowledge and culture.
Relief Printing 凸版畫
Ink is applied by a roller to the surface of a plate. Incised area that has been removed by carving tools does not receive ink and hence does not print. This technique is commonly used in linocuts, woodblock prints, cardboard prints and collographs.
A printmaking technique where ink is forced into the grooves or incisions on a plate. Any surplus ink is wiped off from the surface with tarlatan. The plate is then printed with dampened paper by an etching press. Etching, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint and collograph are common intaglio prints.
Drypoint: An image is created on plate surface by scratching with a hard, sharp metal (or diamond) point. When printed, the scratching leaves a burr that marks a soft velvety line on paper.
Etching: The plate is covered with a layer of ground with acid-resistant substance. Images are then drawn on the grounded plate with carving tools. After immersing the plate into an acid bath, areas with grounding material carved out will be eaten away. The longer the plate is left in acid, the deeper the line will be.
Mezzotint: This technique is known for its rich and subtle tonal effect. It is achieved by using a rocker to roughen the plate surface.
Aquatint: An etching technique to create tones. First dusted with rosin, a plate is cured with heat and then put into an acid bath. The acid etches around the ground to create a “dotty” pitted surface. The ink stays in the pitted “dots” when the plate is inked and wiped. The plate is then printed with an etching press. Tones on print vary according to the densities of the pitted ‘dots’.
A technique which an image is drawn onto limestone or a treated aluminum plate with lithographic crayon or a greasy ink called tusche. This printing relies on the repulsive properties of water and grease. After applying acidified gum solution on the stone, image areas will be grease-receptive while non-printing areas will be water-receptive, so that undrawn area will repel ink and drawn area will be inked. The stone is then sponged with water and printed with a lithographic press.
Screen printing 絲印版畫
Screen printing, also known as serigraphy, is a technique that uses a squeegee to squeeze ink through a framed gauze screen. Serigraphy has been widely used commercially since 19th century. The first photographic serigraphy was invented in the United States in 1915. A group of Pop Artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein took serigraphy as their medium in the 60’s.
1915年，第一張用攝影製版的絲網版畫在美國誕生，使絲網版畫技術邁進了一大步。絲網印藝除了廣泛用於在商業上外，還是藝術家的創作媒介。60年代，一群普普藝術Pop Art的藝術家創作了大批絲網版畫，安迪沃荷Andy Warhol、Roy Lichtenstein等便是當中的表表者。
New media and Iris print 新媒體及虹彩版畫
Photographic and digital images have been widely applied in contemporary printmaking. For instance, Fung Ho-yin’s gum bichromate print is developed from photography. Steven Lam Woon-cheung’s and Norman de Brackinghe’s Iris prints are created with digital devices. Originated in the 90’s, Iris print was named after a printer manufactured by Iris Graphics, which was used for proofing in the printing industry. Xeroxgraphy or any computer generated image printed on archival paper is now called an Iris print.
今天的版畫藝術，不再囿於傳統的凸、凹、平和孔四大類。如馮浩然的光媒版畫－樹膠染印是與攝影掛；又或如林煥章和Norman de Brackinghe的虹彩版畫。虹彩版畫即數碼媒體印製成的版畫。Iris print源於90年代初，用由Iris Graphics出產的印刷機印成打稿。後成為版畫的一個媒介：所有用影印、鐳射打印、噴墨打印、熱印印在版畫紙上（Archival Paper）的版畫圖像藝術。
Print numbering and signing 作品簽署
After a print is pulled, the printmaker will mark the following information on the print with a pencil:
1. Edition: 1/10, 2/10…..10/10 (1 as the first impression, and 10 is the total number of prints in the edition) or
T/P as Trail proof,
A/P or E/A, AE (Epreuve d’Artiste) as Artist Proof. Artist Proof usually is 10-15% of the edition. For instance, in an edition of 20, 2 artist proofs will be printed.
3. Year Completed
The size of the edition is up to the printmaker. When an edition is completed, it is a practice for printmakers to destroy the plate.
a. 試作Trail Proof 簡寫T/P或
b. 版畫家印數: Artist Proof簡寫A/P、Epreuve d’Artiste(法語) 簡寫E/A或AE。版畫家印數通常是版數的10-15%，即版數有20張，便有2張的AP