Printmaking Techniques





Intaglio is an umbrella term for a range of techniques – including engraving, etching, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint, sugar lift, soft ground and spit bite – that share the same basic premise. With intaglio techniques, the composition is inscribed as a system of grooves for the ink to fill the matrix.

In some intaglio medium (like engraving) the metal plate is carved directly by the artist with a burin (a specific tool), while in others (like etching and aquatint), it is incised by chemicals.

In engraving, the most used, the artist carves a metal plate on which he applies one of the different techniques (Drypoint, woodcut, linocut, etc). The plate is then inked and the surface is wiped clean, though the grooves remain filled with the ink. It will be pressured against the paper through the machine and create a print. The work made by this technique has a different texture since the plate’s edges leave traces on the print, giving it a richer special feature.



Mantegna, Dürer, Holbein, Lucas Cranach, Piranési, Chagall Rembrandt, Goya, Blake, Gauguin, Munch, Picasso, Tàpies.




Screen printing, also known as silkscreen or serigraphy, has as its direct ancestors, the printing on fabrics used in the Far East, long before the beginning of our era. In the Ocident it was in the 1950s that artists fully accepted screen printing as a valid form of expression. Pop Art, interested in the images of urban culture, found in this technique an adequate means for the recreation of its themes.

In screenprint, the artist cuts an image. The cut areas are removed to create a stencil, which is then affixed to a screen made of fine mesh fabric (originally silk) stretched onto a frame. The frame is placed on a sheet of paper or other support; ink is then spread along the top of the screen and pulled down the fabric with a rubber blade, reaching the open areas of the stencil. This process is repeated for each different colour which means there are works taking several months to become finished.

Screenprint is the ideal technique for plain and straight compositions, without too many thin or big sized details, producing a dense, subtle and silky effect on the print.



Andy Warhol, Patrick Caulfield, Roy Liechtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Victor Vasarely.




From the greek word lithos (stone), the invention of lithography in 1798 is due to the German Aloys Senefelder, having known its full fruition at the end of the century. 

Lithography is one of the most direct printmaking techniques and allows artists to work just as they would on sketches or watercolours, without the intermediary steps of woodcut or intaglio. It doesn’t require chisels or knives, burins or scrapers.

Drawings are made with a greasy material on a specific type of stone. Then, the stone is brushed with a chemical solution that helps bond the drawing to the surface. It's then wiped with a solvent which dissolves most of the drawing but leaves a greasy, ghosted version of it. Next, the stone or plate is moistened with water, which is absorbed only by the blank areas. An oil based printing ink is applied, adhering to the positive parts of the image while being repelled from the wet parts. It’s based on the principle that oil and water don’t mix.

Finally, the inked matrix is placed on the bed of a press with a sheet of damp paper on top, and is run through the machine.

CPS is proud to have master Marçal for years working in CPS studio. He’s one of the few masters in lithography in Portugal and he still continues to work with CPS.



Honoré Daumier, Édouard Manet, Pierre Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Chagall, Miró.




In the context of contemporary art, Photography has established itself as a language with a true multiple vocation, associating itself with traditional techniques.
This led CPS to include and develop this technique in image universe and art creation. Being one of most emblematic expressions nowadays, photography editions help to perpetuate the modernity faces that are constantly changing and that, with this technique, keep in our memory like they used to be before.




Digital Printing is a relatively new way of creating and materializing an image. The creation by the artist is done totally or partially in digital form, materializing in the final printed result.
The inks used are guaranteed for durability and the materials comply with the quality required for traditional printing (high grammage, good percentage or 100% cotton, “acid free”, available in different textures).




In the context of Original Printmaking, the artist has all the creative freedom to use any of the above mentioned techniques or enhance their combination, originating Hybrid Artworks (Serigraphy and Woodcut; Engraving and Digital Printing, Lithography and Serigraphy, Collage of printed fragments, …). Sometimes he opts for a different medium from paper, creating works on canvas, silk, felt, nappa or other materials.