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ARTS: 2nd Quarter Grade 7

History of Philippine Printmaking


Philippine printmaking became accepted as an art in the 1960s. This art form
involves transferring images made by an artist onto paper. Many copies can be
made of the image. Usually a limited number of copies is produced by the artist.

Printmaking in the Philippines did not gain popularity as an art form until the early 1960s.
Manuel Rodriguez Sr. and Rodolfo Paras-Perez were responsible for the development of interest
in contemporary printmaking techniques. Rodriguez in particular became known as the Father of
Philippine Printmaking.
Printmaking was soon taught in several schools. Rodriguez taught at the Philippine Womens
University, making it the unofficial center of printmaking in the country. He helped organize the
Philippine Association of Printmakers. The majority of the first young printmakers were taught
by Rodriguez either in PWU or in his workshops. Among these are Virgilio Aviado, Lucio
Martinez, Lamberto Hechanova, Restituto Embuscado, Mario Parial, Adiel Arevalo, Petite
Calaguas, Emet Valente, Brenda Fajardo, Nelfa Querubin, Ivi Avellana-Cosio, and Nonon Padilla
as well as his own sons Manuel Jr., Marcelino, and Ray Rodriguez.
Some of the methods used in printmaking in the Philippines are the following:

Intaglio is a process in which images are printed from a plate that holds ink in recessed
areas. Some intaglio methods are aquatint, engraving, etching, mezzotint.
o In aquatint, an acid-resistant powder is used to coat the plate, which is then
immersed in acid so only the uncoated areas are etched. This gives the print a
grainy appearance.
o In engraving, lines are incised into the plate.
o In etching, the plate is covered with acid-resistant coating and the design
scratched into this. The plate is then immersed in acid to create lines in the
uncoated areas.
o In mezzotint, the whole plate is roughened to hold the ink, which creates a dark
background. The artist smoothens some areas so they will hold less ink allowing
tonal gradations to be produced.

Linoleum block or Linocut is a method of printing in which the image to be printed is


carved into a block of linoleum.

Lithography is a method of printing in which an image is drawn on a smooth plate that


has been treated to accept ink but repel water. A greasy ink or special crayons are used for
drawing on this. A coating of acid and gum arabic is used to fix the drawing onto the
surface of the printing plate, to lightly etch the plate, and to help the parts of the plate that
were not drawn on to hold water. Oil-based ink is spread on the wet surface and the wet
areas repel the ink so it sticks only to the drawing. The image is printed from this plate
with the use of a press.

Serigraph or Silk Screen is a method of printing in which a design is created on a


stretched mesh fabric using a resist. Ink is then pressed through the fabric to produce the
print.

Woodblock or Woodcut is a form of printing in which a carved woodblock covered with


ink is used.

Drypoint is a method of printing in which a sharp point is used to draw directly on a


copper plate, creating rough-ridged etched lines. The ink coats the raised areas, which are
printed.

Tomas Pinpin was a printer, writer and publisher from Abucay, a municipality in the province of
Bataan, Philippines, who was the first Filipino printer and is sometimes referred as the "Prince of
the Filipino Printers."
Pinpin is remembered for being the first native Filipino to publish and print a book, "Librong
Pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla" in 1610, entirely written by himself in the
old Tagalog orthography.[1]
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on
paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints that
have an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic
reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is
capable of producing multiples of a same piece, which is called a print. Each
print produced is not considered a "copy" but rather is considered an
"original". This is because typically each print varies to an extent due to
variables intrinsic to the printmaking process, and also because the imagery
of a print is typically not simply a reproduction of another work but rather is
often a unique image designed from the start to be expressed in a particular
printmaking technique. A print may be known as an impression.
Printmaking (other than monotyping) is not chosen only for its ability to
produce multiple impressions, but rather for the unique qualities that each of
the printmaking processes lends itself to.
Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix or through a prepared
screen to a sheet of paper or other material. Common types of matrices
include: metal plates, usually copper or zinc, or polymer plates for engraving
or etching; stone, aluminum, or polymer for lithography; blocks of wood for
woodcuts and wood engravings; and linoleum for linocuts. Screens made of
silk or synthetic fabrics are used for the screenprinting process. Other types
of matrix substrates and related processes are discussed below.
Multiple impressions printed from the same matrix form an edition. Since the
late 19th century, artists have generally signed individual impressions from
an edition and often number the impressions to form a limited edition; the
matrix is then destroyed so that no more prints can be produced. Prints may
also be printed in book form, such as illustrated books or artist's books.
Relief printing is a printmaking process where protruding surface faces of
the printing plate or block are inked; recessed areas are ink free. Printing the
image is therefore a relatively simple matter of inking the face of the matrix
and bringing it in firm contact with the paper. A printing-press may not be
needed as the back of the paper can be rubbed or pressed by hand with a
simple tool such as a brayer or roller.
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the
unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the
metal (the original processin modern manufacturing other chemicals may
be used on other types of material). As an intaglio method of printmaking, it

is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints,
and remains in wide use today.
A stencil is a thin sheet of material, such as paper, plastic, wood or metal, with letters or a design
cut from it, used to produce the letters or design on an underlying surface by applying pigment
through the cut-out holes in the material. The key advantage of a stencil is that it can be reused to
repeatedly and rapidly produce the same letters or design. The design produced with a stencil is
also called a stencil. The context in which stencil is used makes clear which meaning is intended.
Although aerosol or painting stencils can be made for one-time use, typically they are made with
the intention of being reused. To be reusable, they must remain intact after a design is produced
and the stencil is removed from the work surface. With some designs, this is done by connecting
stencil islands (sections of material that are inside cut-out "holes" in the stencil) to other parts of
the stencil with bridges (narrow sections of material that are not cut out).
Stencil technique in visual art is also referred to as pochoir. A related technique (which has
found applicability in some surrealist compositions) is aerography, in which spray-painting is
done around a three-dimensional object to create a negative of the object instead of a positive of
a stencil design. This technique was used in cave paintings dating to 10,000 BC, where human
hands were used in painting hand print outlines among paintings of animals and other objects.
The artist sprayed pigment around his hand by using a hollow bone, blown by mouth to direct a
stream of pigment.
Screen printing also uses a stencil process, as does mimeography. The masters from which
mimeographed pages are printed are often called "stencils". Stencils can be made with one or
many colour layers using different techniques, with most stencils designed to be applied as solid
colours. During screen printing and mimeography the images for stenciling are broken down into
color layers. Multiple layers of stencils are used on the same surface to produce multi-colored
images.