If you are someone who is familiar with the process of printmaking through the process of lithography, then it is safe to say that you must have seen a couple of different types of lithography that is done in the modern day and age. It was a privilege for me to spend time with Mark Hunter and learn about waterless lithography along with all the intricate details that come with it.
The purpose of this article is to inform people about how they can master the art of lithography, and make some of the finest art there is. The process itself is not that difficult at all, you just need to be patient, and let everything go with the flow, and I can assure that the overall experience will be much better.
Before I began, I think it would be a smart idea to look at the process, because that does play an important role. If you want, you can start taking inspiration or references from sketchbooks. Once you have the reference regarding what you want to draw, the remaining process becomes much easier.
The first step is to prepare the aluminum plate by degreasing it and treating it with sodium metasilicate, once that is done, the plate is ready to be drawn on, making the process much simpler as well.
Now that you have readied the plate, it is time to start applying the toner solution. Now when it comes to applying the toner solution, there are multiple options you can go for. For starters, you can use paintbrushes, lollipop, sticks, as well as sponges. You can even use toothbrushes if you want as long as you know what you are doing.
I opted for a set of large paint brushes that were really useful, and helped me achieve a proper effect.
The next step involves using a heat gun to ensure that the image is bonded to the plate, at this point, you can actually make the changes.
Now you have to take a solution of non-paintable silicone and white spirit until its consistent like runny honey, and spread it onto the entire plate. Once that is done, buff the surface using a firm sponge by wrapping it into tissue. Leave the plate overnight so it can be cured properly.
You can now wash the tray out using a tissue along with acetone, make sure that the tissue is well soiled.
Drag and scrape the ink to create a bead at the top of the workstation. You can place a sub plate under the main one that will be able to get all the rejected ink.
Now that the plate itself is printed, you can go ahead with the printing. A smooth paper is required to make sure that you get the best possible results. However, you can make a few test prints to know which paper is the best one for your needs.