Print: Generally, a picture whose forms and colors have been transferred from a prepared plate to a piece of paper by applied pressure.
o An "original print" is produced when an artist, or an assistant under the artist's direct supervision if a large series (edition) is being printed, inks the plate and adjusts the pressure personally for each individual print; traditionally, each of these is signed and numbered by the artist. The number 3/15, for example, identifies print #3 in a limited edition of 15 in all. The letters AP identify any of the Artist's Proofs that are preserved during the preparation of an edition.
o A "reproduction print" is produced when photomechanical processes are utilized to make copies of an original oil painting or watercolor; if living, the original artist may supervise some or all of the reproduction steps, and may sign and number each copy to signify approval of the edition's quality and size.
Intaglio: The generic term for the process of cutting, scratching, or etching lines into the surface of a plate. When such a plate is inked and then wiped, ink remains in the recessed lines, to be transferred to a sheet of paper when the plate and the paper are run through an etching or other press under pressure. Engraving, drypoint, etching, aquatint, and soft-ground are all intaglio processes.
Etching: The process of using acids to "eat" a design into a metal plate in preparation for intaglio printing. Usually, the process is repeated several times in the preparation of a single plate, for artistic control over depths, widths, and tones of separate lines and areas.
Aquatint: An etching technique useful for generating tones and textures. A "ground" of resin or spray paint is used to control the effect of the acid bath on the metal of the etching plate.
Soft-Ground: Another etching technique in which textures and forms are pressed into and pulled from a pliable ground to control the effect of the acid bath on the etching plate.
Monotype: A unique original print (an "edition of one") made by the artist applying paint directly on a glass, metal, or plastic plate. The image is then transferred to paper by hand rubbing or running the plate through a press. After the print has dried, further development is possible using colored pencils or pastels.
Collage Monotype: Loose cutouts of collage materials such as textured paper, lace, or cloth are utilized in the production of such a monotype.
Monoprint: A monoprint utilizes a repeatable matrix such as an intaglio design, which could be used to produce a series (edition), but individual hand refinements keep each print unique.
Joan S. Wolf