Process: What is Lithography?
From the Greek lithos meaning stone and graphic meaning drawing, Lithography is just that with a couple of twists along the way. This type of printmaking is planographic, meaning the surface of the matrix, usually an incredibly flat and smooth slab of limestone, is not carved into or cut away. The lithographer draws on the surface of the stone using waxy drawing materials, and then treats the surface with an acidic mixture, "etching” the drawing into the stones surface. This acidic mixture causes the bare parts of the stone to attract water, while the drawn image of the stone repels water. To print the image, the artist washes the drawing material off of the stone, dampens it, and rolls it up with ink, which sticks to the drawn areas of the stone. Paper is laid over the image, and the two are rolled through a printing press, where pressure transfers the ink onto the paper, creating a print.