Printmaking Technique: Lithography Illustration 1

Unlike etching and woodblock printmaking, in which an artist can theoretically prepare a matrix and print a sheet in a modest studio equipped with a small press, lithography involves complex, arduous chemical and printing processes. The basic principle is that oil and water repel each other. To begin, the artist draws on a lithographic stone—a piece of heavy limestone—with a crayon or brush containing an oil-based material. The surface is then treated with a liquid combination of nitric acid and gum arabic, which adheres itself selectively to the drawn and non-drawn areas.

Process image created by Matt Stolle and Perri Blitz.