While it is true that most art is valued for its originality, printmaking is an essential part of the fine art world. The ability to create multiple images with one print is what makes many of these pieces unique in their own right. There are many different types of printmaking techniques which are utilized. Woodcuts are used to create prints from slabs of wood which gave been carved. This is a form of relief printing. Engraving is another form of printmaking which lends itself to its own characteristics. Designs are carved into metal for engraved prints. Additionally, aside from fine art creations, printmaking allows artists to capitalize on the popularity of an original piece.
Layering is a method in which a print is produced numerous times to create an image. This is often done to create a dramatic effect as well. For example, a person might print the image of a face repetitively to achieve a sense of urgency. This is especially useful when the side image of a face is used to create the print. Sometimes people layer a print with different facial expressions from multiple prints, or they layer a print to show an action such as running or jumping. What this does is it allows the artist to use a new way to show action.
Fine art often focuses on original prints. Original prints are prints which are created by an artist and then never used again, in some cases. These types of prints are highly desirable because they cannot be recreated easily. Fine art galleries across the world have exhibits of original prints to showcase unique aspects that were achieved during the time of the print’s creation. In fact, minor defects which occur during the making of a print often make that piece more unique and desirable. People pay a significant sum of money for completely original artistic representations.
Woodcuts are some of the oldest forms of prints available. They are created when an artist carves out a piece of wood to create the print. The raised surface that comes to fruition is the part that makes contact with the ink. Cracks and splinters in the wood give these types of prints a great appeal. This is especially true for representations of people. Cultures from around the world have used woodcuts to depict ceremonial practices as well, so it is a highly respected form of printmaking.
The unique characteristics of printmaking makes it one of the most captivating forms of fine art. Some of this artwork utilizes screens to achieve a result which is far different from a standard drawing. Prints often feature uneven lines or faded areas, but this only adds to its appeal. When multiple prints are made, the faded images evoke many emotions. Some Native American prints are famous for their woodcut depictions of strife when the settlers first arrived in America. This was their outlet for expressing their distress over being forced to move away from many of their lands.