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Alternative Lithography – Pronto Plates and Gum Arabic Transfer

Two kinds of lithography

This workshop is designed for artists who want to investigate completely portable printmaking plates that can be used on any kind of etching or lithography press. Students will learn two types of lithography that require minimal materials. Pronto Plate is a polyester plate that can be worked with freehand drawing and painting or photo images using a photocopier or laser printer. Gum Arabic Transfer or Paper Plate Lithography is method using a paper copy as a printing plate. Both have rich possibilities to expand the potential of creating large or small prints.

Participants will experiment with the two processes on a variety of surfaces such as paper and fabric. Students are welcome to bring previously printed works (monoprint, relief, etc.) Some printmaking experience is helpful but all levels welcome.


Day 1: Introduction to the lithographic process. Morning: Slide presentation. Begin work on pronto plates. Demonstration of hand image making. Demonstration preparing images for either laser printer or photocopier using Photoshop. Demonstration of printing process. Afternoon: students begin printing first paper plates.

Day 2: Continue to work with both pronto plates and paper plates. Students begin printing first pronto plates on paper. They explore differences in technique and aesthetics between the two processes.

Day 3: More in depth coverage of both techniques. Students begin to explore multiple colors and a variety of registration techniques or continue on one color prints.

Day 4: Student expand possibilities in the printing surface to include a variety of papers and fabrics.

Day 5: Morning: continue printing. Afternoon: wrap up, class critique and discussion of further possibilities combining media.

Materials provided by the studio:

5 dinA4 Pronto Plates
5 dinA3 Pronto Plates
3 sheets Arches 88 300 g/m2 56 x 76 cm
1 sheet Mulberry paper 48 g/m2 97 x 64 cm
1 sheet Yoshi paper 109 x 79 cm
20 sheets High Quality Japanese Washi for Print Art 210 x 260 mm Awagami Editioning Papers 1 sample pack – Awagami Factory
Additional Pronto Plates, Arches, Mulberry and Yoshi paper will be available for purchase.

Studio supplies:

•Miscellaneous supplies, drawing tools, pens, pencils, Black Indian Ink, toner wash, lithographic tusche, litho crayons, permanent markers, drawing acetates, photocopy papers, wax paper, masking tape, rulers, brushes, Offset Inks, Etching Inks, Easy Wipe, Sumi Ink, Arabic Gum, sponges, plastic bowls, cleaning supplies, paper towels, newsprints and rags. Rollers and brayers. 3 intaglio presses. Oven.

What to bring:

Laser or photocopier prints on dinA4 and dinA3 size
Laptop with Photoshop (optional)
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Contemporary, Lithography

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