Relief printing explanation
Engraving techniques include intaglio and relief printing.
Intaglio refers to techniques that consist in depositing ink in the hollowed parts by tools such as dry points, burins or using acids such as aquatint or mezzotint that will come to dig the parts desired by the artist.
Well, relief printing is the opposite extreme since it will be a question of digging with gouges the parts that we want to hide. The parts not dug out will then be inked to reveal the print. The relief printing is thus a technique of engraving which one will find in particular in the linocut but not only since all the engravings on wood or xylogravures will be also concerned. This technique is the oldest and simplest. The intaglio appeared much later.
Size of savings which supports
Wood and linoleum are supports that lend themselves particularly well to this technique of relief engraving. However, they are not the only ones and new supports are appearing.
Pvc plates or gums that are softer and easier to engrave than traditional linoleums have been added to the range, making printmaking even more accessible.
Indeed, the linocut consists in removing the undesirable parts and in preserving the lines which will be inked and reproduced on paper or textile. Here again, we note a difference with respect to the intaglio.
The relief printing makes it possible to do without a press and to print as a kind of stamp on the chosen support, where intaglio will require very strong pressures to be carried out.
Relief printing and intaglio, technical characteristics
In order to complete the comparison between linocut and intaglio, I propose you to take a look at two realizations. You will see that the intaglio, a technique prized by goldsmiths at the time, will allow for impressions of great finesse.
On the other hand, even if the relief printing brings a lot of details, the visual impact will not be the same
Do not hesitate to ask me your questions if you did not find answers to your questions. And happy printmaking to all!