An educational resource based on the holdings of HKOP, covering the various techniques in Relief printing, Intaglio, Planography, Screenprint and Others.

What is Printmaking ?


Printmaking is the art of using printing plates (matrices) as a medium. Common matrix materials include wood, plastic, copper, silk screen, and stone.


Oil paintings and drawings are a direct method of expression as they can be drawn directly onto paper or canvas. In contrast, printmaking is an indirect form of expression as the artwork must be transferred to the final print using a matrix. It is a complicated process where the artist only sees their work at the moment of printing, which makes the creative process full of surprises.


A printmaker can make many prints from one matrix. This type of reproducibility makes print art more affordable than other types of art, and is the reason why print art is often considered an entry-level art collector’s item.