Lithography – the fairy tale on stone
This graphic technique was invented in Germany by printmaker Alois Zenefender in 1789. As early as 19th century lithography widespreads in all European countries. Mainly used as one of the cheapest techniques for reproduction. Also for mass imaging. Besides there are also complex methods of multicolored reproductive lithography (chromolithography). In addition in the twentieth century lithography occupies one of the foremost places among other graphic techniques.
Therefore for the production of a printed form in lithography the base used is a special stone. Obviously a type of very thick fine grained limestone. It is a rare limestone type because it has to be out of cracks pores or bubbles. It gets known in very few places in the world. Firstly and most importantly condition is to polish the stone perfectly. Without any scratches or surface injuries. Even roughly smoothing (this texture is called “root” or “spine”).
As well as that after preparing of the polished surface. Make a drawing image. Indeed one can do it with a thick lithographic pencil, a pen or a brush with lithographic ink. Surface of the stone can get treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic. It only affects the unpainted areas of the stone. It makes them inaccessible to the ink. Ink adheres well in places with fat (i.e. painted). The rest of the board remains completely clean. Lithographs print on a special press on special lithographic paper.
There are many different ways of drawing in lithography
One can use lithographic pencils with different type of softness. There are also lithography types of ink. They can get in use to make some whatercolor type spots. In addition ink strokes. Or fresh expressive lines. There is also that chance to create a fully black bakcground. It might take away material. And also leave white sports or lines.
That is why tools as a sharp needle. Or fine sandpaper are very suitable for the case. Lithography stone polishes very well. Half-polished also depending of the particular situation. Or even drawing composition. Grinding of the stope surface would differ in every of these cases.
There is a way to create an original using special kind of paper. To transfer the image. This kind of paper gets the name Kornpapir. Or so called authographic paper. The method of printmaking is authograph. The image applies onto very hard paper. It goes pressing it against the stone surface. After that treat it as usual way. In the end in this case a mirror image prints onto the lithography stone surface.
Colorful lithography is much more complicated
due to the fact that for every single color. One would need a separate lithography stone. Although art results are very interesting and impressive. This type of printmaking is still very much developing.
As a conclusion the undisputable advantages of lithography lie in the great freedom of these creative techniques. It allows a person to work with almost the same lightness. And also courage as with plain paper drawing. Avoiding creation of a mirror pattern of print form is also very atractive. Comparing different artistic techniques.Tthe technique or technology is not very complex.
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©All images are copyright of Alexandra Duhlinska. They may not be downloaded, modified, altered or sold without the express written permission of the artist.