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Printmaking Essentials

Course Times & Enrolment

Thursdays from 26th September 2024 (Code PR027-106) Add to Basket Thursdays from
26th September 2024 6:30pm - 9:30pm • (10 classes)
ECA Printmaking Room • Tutor: Edward Bruce
£325.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

This course will introduce the student to Relief and Intaglio printmaking techniques and processes. This will include linocut, woodcut, collagraphy, monotype, drypoint and hard-ground etching techniques. Students will learn the essential practical skills necessary to produce printed images in a printmaking studio. They will be introduced to the use of sketchbooks as a means of collecting, developing, reflecting on and contextualizing material to generate visual ideas suitable for print. Key artists and illustrators who have used printmaking as a means of expression will be examined.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

This is an introductory course and no previous knowledge is assumed, although some understanding of printmaking and prints would be an advantage.

Special Information

This course will include a limited supply of basic papers and cards. However please do acquire the materials recommended for this course.

Materials you will need to bring to the first class:

  • Apron

  • Pencils

  • Permanent marker

  • Biro

  • Gloves (dishwashing or disposable varieties)

  • Selection of brushes

  • Eraser

  • Scalpel or equivalent sharp cutting blade

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • Set of economy woodcut tools

  • Etching needle – basic model

  • Mountboard – for card printing

  • Tracing paper

  • Sketchbooks

  • Lino jute backed blocks or soft rubber lino

  • Black drawing ink

  • Glue stick

Further material recommendations may be advised.

Content of Course

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

1. Introduction to different methods of Relief printmaking.

2. Learn how cut a lino or woodblock using a range of marks.

3. Learn how to ink and print the block correctly using good registration technique.

4. Introduction to Intaglio techniques.

5. Create monoprint and monotype prints.

6. Create a collagraph print.

7. Learn how to create a collagraph plate to produce a print with line, texture and tone.

8. Introduction to drypoint. Learn how to produce an image from zinc plate using a simple engraving technique.

9. Introduction to hard-ground resist etching. Learn how to prepare and create an image on zinc plate using an etching needle and the action of acid to producing a print in monochrome and colour.

Teaching method(s)

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration.

Each week, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will suggest follow up reading, research and practice to undertake each week to support their studies. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Define and apply good studio practice, which includes the confident operation of printing presses.

  • Demonstrate a general practical ability to make effective use of a range of printmaking techniques and processes. This includes reduction and multiple block printing, hard-ground etching techniques, printing with colour, registration and editioning.

  • Develop and research visual ideas and compositions from sketchbooks suitable to translate into prints.

  • Create a series of personal prints which have considered the uses of drawing, mark making, composition and colour.

  • Identify the context of other artists’ work in the medium of printmaking and other media.


Core Readings


  • Adam, R. and Robertson, C. (2007) Intaglio: The Complete Safety-First System for Creative Printmaking: Acrylic-Resist Etching, Collagraphy, Engraving, Drypoint, Mezzotint. London: Thames and Hudson.

  • Grabowski, B. and Fick, B. (2009) Printmaking: a complete guide to materials and processes. London: Laurence King.

Web Sources

Web sources may be suggested during the course.

Class Handouts

Course information will be provided on enrolment and handouts provided during the course.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.