Printing techniques

Cut-out printed bird images on bamboo print textile background
Experiment with placing prints on contrasting backgrounds

Printing allows an image to be accurately reproduced a number of times. This process developed to enable mass production of information and images (magazines, posters, fine art pictures), along with the ability to print repeated patterns for fabrics and wallpapers.

Printing techniques include:

  • silkscreen printing
  • block printing
  • monoprinting
  • etching

Each printing technique involves specific media and material; for example silkscreen designs can be printed onto fabric or paper using an acrylic ink, and block printing is used in a similar manner.

It is worth experimenting with different techniques and surfaces. For example:

  • combine different printing techniques in the same piece
  • print onto different textures and colours of paper, board or fabric
  • try placing your prints onto contrasting, patterned backgrounds, other images or text
  • to further develop your work, you could draw or paint into your prints
  • attach textiles and other materials and objects to add texture and variety
  • Always remember when you are printing you are working in positives and negatives
  • Any letter and words need to start backwards so that they are the right way round in your final prints.