Printing for Beginners: Drypoint and Collagraph

48 TUTOR: Karen Carter

Discover the creative potential of printing using dry point etching, collagraph and Gum Arabic transfer techniques. Most of the methods you will be learning on this course are easy to repeat at home with a minimum of specialist equipment. There will be step by step demonstrations for every stage of the process then, once you have learnt the basics, time to experiment, combine and play with the techniques. This is a fun and informal course suitable for complete beginners or those wishing to refresh their skills.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes


This course offers you the opportunity to try out a variety of techniques for printing by hand and also using our lovely etching press. We will look at the linear and tonal effects of drypoint etching and the textural effects of simple collagraphs - which can be combined to create multi-layer prints or used individually to create images in their own right.

We will be working with watersoluble oil-based inks using methods & materials that can mostly be replicated at home.

There will be step-by-step demonstrations, followed by time to explore the different processes at your own pace, layering, combining and using colour to produce a series of prints. No previous experience is needed, just a willingness to experiment and a big apron!



Using basic mountboard and the inside of juice cartons as a base we will create tonal and textural printing plates by cutting away and scratching into the surface and adding elements such as textured paper, masking tape, selloptape, etc.

These things all hold ink differently when applied to the plate and can create interesting and sometimes unexpected results when you take a print. A fun process where you're never quite sure what you're going to get!


Drypoint Etching

This is a process of scratching or etching into Perspex or acetate sheets with a variety of sharp tools - it doesn't involve the use of any acids - to create lovely linear and tonal prints. These are usually printed on an etching press but can be done on a small scale by hand using a dessert spoon or roller on lightweight paper.

The tutor will provide templates and images to work from if you wish, but feel free to bring your own inspiration / sketches.

On the last day we will have an informal group review and gallery session of our work.


PLEASE NOTE:Most of the inks used during this workshop are water-soluble-cleaning up is done mainly with baby wipes and soap & water, but please bring barrier cream or gloves if you know you have an allergy to any of these materials.

Useful Books(copies of these will be available to look at during the course)

Handmade Prints (Anne Desmet); Printmaking for Beginners (Jane Stobart);

The Instant Printmaker (Melvyn Petterson & Colin Gale)


Students 'To Bring' List:

Sketchbook / photos / ideas to work from (tutor will also provide templates)


Baby wipes, old apron or shirt

Pencil, biro, rubber, notebook


Please bring your glasses if you need them for close-up work!


The tutor will provide all other materials


Course Tutor

Karen Carter

About Karen

Karen is an enthusiastic and experienced tutor specialising in printmaking and acrylics. Her method of teaching is both informal but instructional, aiming to bring out everyone's creativity in an encouraging and friendly atmosphere. Having studied design and illustration at art college she worked for many years as a commercial artist. She now divides her time between teaching and pursuing her own work, with involvement in exhibitions, studio trails, residencies and private commissions.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM