Art Glossary at

AQUATINT An Etching Process in which tone is created by treating a plate with fine particles of acid resistant material ( like powder resin) and then placing the plate in an acid bath. The acid bites into the plate between the grains of resin and when printed, the mass of tiny spots produces a textured area with tonal effects similar to watercolor wash.
ARTIST'S PROOF Artist's Proofs should be exactly the same as the edition in quality and image though they are outside the numbered edition. They are identified with "A.P." or "Artists Proof" on the impression. They are often retained by the artist or publisher.
The same as chop but stamped with ink on verso of the print. See also Chop.
BON A TIRER A literal translation from French Meaning "good to pull" and refers to the first print the artist decides to use for editioning.
BURR When using a drypoint needle or other engraving tool to draw directly into a metal plate, small, fine pieces of metal are raised up on both sides of the scored line. This burr holds additional ink during the printing process and gives the lines velvety of fuzzy texture. Burr is very delicate and consequently is easily worn down during the pressures of the printing process. Early pulls or impressions taken from such plates are characterized by rich burr. In the case of Old Master Prints especially, the quantity and evidence of burr can sometimes be used as an aid in determining how early the impression was pulled.
CANCELLATION PROOF When the edition is complete, the matrix - a block, plate, stone, mylar, or other - is effected, crossed out or otherwise "cancelled". An impression is then taken from this matrix, showing that the plate has been "cancelled". This ensures that no further uncancelled impressions can be pulled.
CARBORUNDUM The trade name for silicon carbide, carborundum began its use in printmaking as an abrasive which was used in affacing lithographic stones. The Particles, when mixed together with glue can also be used to draw on a plate - sometimes creating a raised surface - which is then inked and printed with the ink being held in the spaces between the particles. The resulting prints are often textured due to the raised areas of the printing surface.
CATALOGUE RAISONNE A scholarly catalogue which should include all the known works by an artist at the time of publication. Essential information by which works are identified is included.
CHINE COLLE A Process in which one sheet of paper is adhered to another by pressuring, usually a thin paper laminated to backing during the print process.
CLICHE-VERRE or glass print, is diffrerent, is different from every other print technique in that the image on the paper is not produced with ink but with light-sensitive chemicals. the basic cliche-verre is made by coating a clear glass plate with collodion or printer's ink and drawing a design through tha coating with a stylus. A sheet of photo-sensitized paper is then placed under it and the assemblage exposed to light (usually sunlight). The image will be recieved onto the photo paper, exactly in the way that a photographic print is made from a negative, and the image is then chemically fixed. A more sophisticated technique involves painting the design on the glass, the varying densities of the ink or paint appearing on the final print as varying shades of white to black. The technique is proto-photographic, but not reproductive since there is no camera involved. It was especially popular with corot, Daubigny and other Barbizon artist.
COLOPHON / JUSTIFICATION A note, usually at the end of a book or portfolio of prints, giving all or some of the following information: name of work, author, printer, place of printing, date, size of edition.
CHOP An identifying mark embossed on a print to identify the workshop, printer or publisher.
COLOR SEPARATIONS Proofs of each separate color of a multicolor print.
COLOR TRIAL PROOF This term may be used to annotate Trial Proofs, these proofs may be done using the same plates as in the edition but the color varies from that used in the edition.
DECKLE EDGE The uneven edge on handmade paper or mould on paper.
DIGITAL PRINTS Artists who create their works digitally or use digital manipulation in order to create a print may print them on computer using a large scale ink jet printer. The ink is dispersed by a sophisticated print head in a fine mist of minute droplets in order to deliver a continuos tone image. "Iris" prints are made using an ink jet printer manufactured by IRIS. These prints can be made using highly saturated, archival water based inks on a wide range of materials, from traditional art papers to fabrics and wood veneers. Epson printers use pigment-based archival inks rather than water based inks. The epson process is often used in projects that involve a combination of printing techniques.
DRYPOINT Drawing on metal plate with a needle of hard steel, often with a diamond point. The "burr" that is formed along the edge of the line traps the link for a soft rich effect.
EDITION Total number of prints pulled from one image and represents the largest body of work for sale from that image. These prints are consecutively numbered to show that the edition is limited by publisher or artist.
EMBOSSING A process used to create a raised surface or raised element, but printed without ink.
ENGRAVING A method of drawing that employs a burin or graver to cut or incise on a metal plate
ETCHING An intaglio Process in which the lowered printing areas are bitten and etched by acid. The drawing and preparation of the plate can be accomplished with a variety of techniques dealt with elsewhere in this glossary. See Hardground, Sugar Lift and Softground.
FOUL BITING When the acid - resistant ground on a metal plate does not keep the acid entirely out, irregularities can appear. These "bitten" ares will, when the plate is printed, catch ink and appear as spots or oddly inked areas.
FRONTISPIECE Illustration in a book opposite the title page.
HANDMADE PAPER Paper formed by a hand held mould or matrix.
HELIOGRAVURE A method of making a photo - etched or photogravure plate using an aquatint texture directly on the plate to create tone.
HORS DE COMMERCE These prints are outside the full edition but are the same as the edition and are used as gifts or payments to those involved in the production of the edition.
IMPRESSION A term applied to any work from a printing element.
INTAGLIO A general term covering the printing process such as engraving, aquiant, mezzotint, etching. Any process in which the image is cut, engraved or etched below the surface of the plate.
LIGHT SENSITIVE PLATE A Plate treated with a light sensitive coating which all receive a photographic image either in lithographic or intaglio processes.
LINE ENGRAVING A Print Made by using a metal plate cut with an engraving tool.
LINOCUT A Relief Process in which the image is cut into the linoleum block. The printing surface being the raised portions of the block.
LITHOGRAPHIC CRAYONS AND PENCILS Crayons and pencils of a greasy substance used in drawing for lithography.
LITHOGRAPHY A process based on the natural repulsion between the grease and water. Image is drawn on stone, aluminum or zinc plates, or both with greasy drawing materials. The image is then chemically processed so that the drawn area accepts grease (ink) and the non - image area water. Unlike intaglio printing the image and non-image areas are both on the same plane or level.
MASTER PRINTER A highly skilled printer who works very closely with the artist to produce the edition.
MATRIX The base from which the print is made. This can be anything - a standard metal plate or lithographic stone, a potato or vinyl record, a stencil - anything from which you print.
MEZZOTINT A printmaking process of the intaglio family, technically a drypoint method. It was the first tonal method to be used, enabling half-tones to be produced without using line- or dot-based techniques like hatching, cross-hatching or stipple.
MONOPRINT/MONOTYPE A print which the image is made on a non-absorbent surface, such as glass or Plexiglass, drawn with ink or paint. The image is transferred to paper by rubbing the back of the paper on the plate with a rubbing tool or by hand. Only one print may be made by this method. Or any other method that makes only one impression.
OFFSET LITHOGRAPHY A Planographic process in which the inked impression is taken from the plate and rubber covered cylinder which then transfers the image it has picked up to the paper.
(Photo engraving, photogravure, photo silkscreen, photolithography)
These processes all involve the use of light sensitive emulsion to transfer photographic images onto a plate or screen which are then processed for printing.
PLANOGRAPHIC PRINTING As suggested by the name, planographic printing includes all those techniques in which the ink is neither pressed down on the paper nor raised above the surface of the paper, but lies in a flat plane on the surface. In planographic techniques the pressure of the press, if indeed there is a press at all, is generally much lighter than with relief or intaglio printing.
PLATE MARK In intaglio prints the pressure of the press causes the plate to leave a mark of it's surface dimensions upon the paper.
PLATE TONE A veil of ink intentionally left on the surface of the plate during printing which creates delicate areas of tone or shading.
POCHOIR A process used for hand coloring prints by using brushes or stencils or any method the artist chooses.
POSTHUMOUS EDITION This is an edition printed from a matrix after the death of the artist. It has usually been authorized by the artist's heirs or is the product of a publisher who previously purchased the matrix from the artist. It should be limited in some way (though not necessarily hand-numbered) or it becomes simply a limitless restrike. Posthumous editions of prints that were pencil signed in their original edition frequently bear stamped signitures authorized by the artist's heirs or the publisher.
PRINTS Unlike paintings or drawings,prints generally exist in multiple examples. They are created by drawing a composition not directly on paper but on another surface, called a matrix, and then, by various techniques, printing that image on paper. Those techniques may involve the use of one or another kind of printing press and ink, or the image may be transferred by pressing the paper by hand onto the ink surface of the matrix and rubbing. Multiple impressions are made by printing new pieces of paper from the matrix in the same way. The total number of impressions an artist decides to make for any one image is called an edition. In modern times each impression in an edition is signed & numbered by the artist, but this is a relatively recent practice.
PRINTER'S PROOF This impression is exactly like the edition and is the property of the printers responsible for the pulling of the edition.
PROGRESSIVE PROOFS Series of proofs taken to show each individual color plate and each combination of them culminating in the final complete version.
PUBLISHER The person or entity who subsidizes and often initiates the making of a print edition or portfolio and who also disseminates the prints.
PULL To print, to transfer the ink to paper.
PULP The fibers that have been reduced and diluted with water to be form into paper.
RAINBOW ROLL Method of applying multi-color inks in bands or gradation on one roller to plate or stone.
REGISTRATION MARKS Marks use by the printer to line up the paper with area to be printed.
RELIEF PRINTING A process of printing in which the non-printed areas have been cut away from a block or plate.
REMARQUE Drawings or experimental marks usually in the margins of the print, to be removed before the work is editioned. The prints with these marks are called Remarque Proofs.
RESTRIKE The print or a whole edition pulled from formerly printed plates, blocks, stones, pr stencils after the original edition has been printed or cancelled. These prints should show a defacing mark to note that original edition has been cancelled.
ROCKER A tool used to roughen the surface of the plate for mezzotint, and intaglio process.
SIGNED EDITION The number below the line designates the total size of the edition, the upper number refers to the specific print from the total edition, i.e. 2/100, the second print pulled from the edition of 100.
A stencil process employing a frame on which silk or synthetic fabric is stretched. Stencils such as photo, hand drawn or hand cut are placed on the stretched fabric and act as a block out when the ink passes through the screen by means of a squeegee onto the paper, the non-stencil areas create the image.
SOFTGROUND An acid resistant coating applied to an etching plate. this ground remains soft even when dry and is very sensitive to pressure.
SOFTGROUND ETCHING An etching technique where a soft ground is laid on a metal plate. The artist draws onto a piece of paper which is laid down on top of the ground. The ground adheres to the paper where the pencil of other tool has pressed down into it through the paper and pulls away when the paper is lifted.
SPIT BITE A method in which the acid is applied directly to the plate and then quickly removed by any variety of liquids.
SQUEEGEE A tool used in silkscreen to apply ink or paint to material to be printed. A wooden bar and rubber blade forces ink through the screen.
STATE An impression taken from the plate at a particular moment or stage of development and distinguished from impressions taken at other times during that process. The final State is the state from which editions are generally pulled, although some artists pull several impressions in each state.
STATE PROOF The alteration of an editioned image, plate, stone or stencil creating a new or related image. The new image may be printed in an edition with all impressions designated "state" I, II, III, IV, or more.
STEEL FACING when a metal intaglio plate is covered with a thin deposit of steel using electrolosis creating a much harder surface which can accommodate larger numbers of printings before wear become evident.
STENCIL PRINT A print made by applying color to an etching plate by use of a metal or paper stencil before printing by rolling the color onto an inked plate.
STONE Bavarian limestone is used in the medium of lithography. This is the element that the artist draws on to create the print image.
SUGAR-LIFT/GROUND The Image is drawn on the plate with brush or pen and sugar ink (a mixture of sugar and India ink). The plate is covered with hardground and impressed in hot water to dissolve the sugar, lifting the hardground with it. The plate is then etched in the normal manner.
TERRAGRAPH Is a unique printing process, developed by Har-El Printers & Publishers and the Terragraph Atelier, in Jaffa Port.. It combines advanced binding materials and the most basic pigment - sand. The first step is to seal the paper with a silicone varnish, to keep the sand and the oil binders in relief on the paper's surface. The sand is ground to different coarseness of grain, according to the necessary effect.. Where the sand area is needed, first a binder is applied or mixed with the sand, and printed through a screen.
TRANSFER Method of drawing in which artist works on a specially coated paper or surface other than the intended printing element. The Drawing is then transferred to metal or stone which is then processed for printing.
TRIAL PROOF A proof that varies from the edition either in color, size, drawing, printing order, etc. these proofs are usually pulled before the artist has arrived at the final decision for the edition. These prints are usually unique impressions which may be retained by the artist and are not numbered in any manner.
TRANSFER PAPER Paper used by the artist to draw on that is transferred to plate or stone. With this method the image need not be drawn in reverse.
TUSCHE Grease in stick or liquid form used principally for drawing in lithography.
VEGETABLE PRINT A print using a vegetable such as a potato as the inked element.
WATERMARK The mark that paper makers form in their papers by sewing the design into the mold before the papermaking process. The watermark can be seen when held to the light as it is more translucent than the light.
WAXTYPE A process like screenprinting where pigmented beeswax is used rather than traditional printer's ink.
WOOD CUT A relief process in which the image is cut in a block of wood with tools such as knives, goughers or chisels. The image is inked with a roller, paper is applied to the surface and the back is then rubbed by hand or with a rubbing tool, transferring the image to the paper.
CHIAROSCURO WOODCUTS Involves the use of several blocks, often one for each color to be used and sometimes on to outline the composition of the image. The print is made by printing a sheet of paper with each of the blocks in turn, using some method of registration to avoid misplacement or overlapping. Where a non-printing area has been cut out of all the blocks, the natural white of the paper shows through in the finished print, giving the reson for the chiaroscuro(Light-Dark). Usually no more than three or foru blocks are used and the purpose of the technique is to imitate the appearance of a wash drawing, not to attempt to capture reality.
WOOD ENGRAVING A relief process in which the image is cut into the end grain of a block of wood using engraving tools. This process produces a very fine white line.
ZINC PLATE Used for both lithography and intaglio processes. Fine Art and Auctions

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