“Lithography: (from Ancient Greek λίθος, lithos, meaning “stone”, and γράφειν, graphein, meaning “to write”) is a method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water. Printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface.”
What I love about lithography is how it utilizes so many concepts and practices to create a piece of art. It is geology, chemistry, geometry, art and a stellar work out all wrapped into one intensive, meticulous process. It is physically demanding and requires a great deal of focus and coordination.
When working with a litho stone you can use a variety of oily substances to create a positive image. “Positive” here means the marks you make on the surface will show up as a line/figure in the final image. Drawing, painting, and intaglio printing all result in a positive image. Common materials used in Lithography are lithographic crayons and pencils – black, oily, and in a variety of hardnesses – Tusche washes, and rubbing crayon.
Printing from stone allows you the option to subtract from your image via deletion from razor blades, snakeslips and other erasure materials. Aluminum plates, however, do not.
Here are brief explanations of a few processes that I use in my lithographic work:
Chine collé – technique in which paper of a different color or texture is adhered to a heavier paper.
Digital Chine collé – image element was printed digitally (inkjet) on a chiné colle paper prior to printing the lithographic image
Hand-coloring – elements of color are applied to the image post printing. Usually in the form of watercolor or colored pencil.
Below is a gallery of final images from my lithographic portfolio.