Developing Digital Tusche Washes for Photoplate LithographyWorkshop Demonstration and Presentation for IMPACT 7 Intersections and Counterpoints, International Printmaking Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-29
Number of pages2
JournalPrintmaking Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2012
EventIMPACT 7 Intersections and Counterpoints International Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Conference - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Sep 201130 Sep 2011
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Since 2008 Croft has been interested exploring the interface between digital and analogue printmaking with specific interest incorporating digital methods of drawing with traditional techniques of stone and plate lithography.

The research for this output culminated in a workshop demonstration and presentation for IMPACT 7 Intersections and Counterpoints: International Conference of Printmaking at Monash University, Melbourne, 2011 and to the subsequent publication of two articles Levels of Sophistication  for the UK journal Printmaking Today Volume 21 Issue 1 ISSN 0960 9253 and Developing Digital Tusche Wash for Photoplate Lithography for the Australian journal IMPRINT  Volume 47 Issue 4 ISSN 0313 3907

The research has evolved from a long series of projects dating back to 1996, when initial research Developing Customised Wash Palettes and Brush Tools was completed for The Tamarind Institute. The foundations for current research were established through two international portfolio print projects including The Machine Stops: Inkjet My Foot (University of Tucson, Arizona 2008) and From Stone to Digital (University of Nevada, 2008) both of which were exhibited at The Southern Graphics Conference, Richmond, Virginia USA in 2008; and were discussed in an  article entitled Printmaking 2028 published by Grapheion Czech Republic 2009.

The emphasis for current research has focussed upon not only the continuing development and refinement of digital tusche wash but also has sought to discover a digital equivalent for the application, pooling, drying and reticulation of wash on screen. Significantly this research, which has included trials using a Wacom Intuos 4 Graphics Tablet, Adobe Photoshop CS4 and notably Corel Painter 12, has led to innovative ways for developing digital tusche wash. Using Corel's facility to develop and store an ever expanding library of washes and by maximising the use of Cloning Brushes and Nozzle Files; this research has enabled exciting new possibilities for developing layers of drawing - that ultimately can be outputted for printing from photoplate as colour runs in any given print. Commonly these colour runs are printed in series and are then overprinted with a key image from stone drawn using conventional techniques. 

That these customised wash palettes can be further manipulated using a range of digital tools serves to provide a limitless range of drawing which when juxtaposed with conventional lithographic drawing creates interesting and exciting dynamics in the final images. Customised washes can easily be exaggerated in scale, inverted, resized, cut and pasted to print with whatever design or composition is being developed. The research has also proved that colour runs can be easily developed on the computer enabling virtual colour proofing on screen thus saving endless hours of inking in the studio.

It is anticipated that further research involving the appointment of a PhD Research student and collaboration with Aberystwyth University Department of Computer Science will lead to the development and testing of new software that will provide a more effective experience for artists working in this manner.



  • Printmaking, Lithography, Digital, Drawing, Tusche