Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ART 270C
Course Title:
Printmaking I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores intermediate printmaking processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues. Includes terminology of monoprints, relief and intermediate intaglio processes. Includes critiques, discussions, and presentations to exercise critical skills necessary to evaluate prints, explore artistic intent, examine aesthetic and structural solutions, and expand perceptual awareness. Employs creative problem solving through implementing a variety of strategies. This is the third course of a three-course sequence for first year printmaking. Prerequisites: Two terms of ART 270 or ART 270B or instructor permission. Recommended: ART 115, 116 and 131A. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will be able to:

  • Find and develop creative ways to solve printmaking problems using a variety of strategies for intermediate monoprints, relief and intaglio processes.
  • Create personal hand-printed artwork, which demonstrates an intermediate level of printmaking ideas, processes, materials, and techniques associated with monoprints, relief and intaglio processes.
  • Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and be able to actively participate in a critical dialogue about printmaking with others using intermediate level vocabulary.
  • Understand, interpret, and enjoy prints of the past and the present from different cultures to initiate a lifelong process of expanding knowledge on the diversity of perspectives of the human experience.
  • Develop a heightened awareness of the physical world, the nature of the relationship of human beings to it, and our impact on it via the experience of making prints.
  • Employ self-critiquing skills to demonstrate autonomous expression through printmaking while recognizing the standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works of art from different cultures.

Course Activities and Design

  1. Create prints that demonstrate experience using a variety of technical skills with an awareness of the inherent characteristics of different print processes.
  2. Build upon current skill set with the intent of working towards technical proficiency.
  3. Practice safe studio practices in regards to the handling of tools, chemicals and machinery within a communal studio space.
  4. Utilize the necessary vocabulary specific to printmaking when participating in class critiques and discussions.
  5. Assess and self-critique personal work to strategize creative solutions.
  6. Develop personal work with an awareness of historical and contemporary artists working in printmaking.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Complete and present individual work within a professional studio critique.
Understand the vocabulary and concepts necessary to engage within a studio environment.
Demonstrate appropriate techniques in intermediate printing and studio habits beyond the classroom studio.
Demonstrate ability to meet deadlines with proper time management and craftsmanship.
Prepare portfolios for professional presentation.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Visual awareness and ability to see.
  2. Methodologies for designing and creating a print in media, which may include monotype, relief print and intaglio.
  3. Challenges to visualization inherent in printmaking.
  4. Language of printmaking and the qualities that distinguish it from other graphic media.
  5. Printmaking in history.
  6. Options and possibilities for original work.
  7. Evaluating prints.
  8. Safety.
  9. Environmental concerns related to proper disposal of waste.
  10. Non-traditional media and combined techniques (e.g., collotype, collage, hybrid prints, digital imagery).


  1. Monotype: effectively use ink rollers and subtractive tools; use brush and ink and other tools for the application of ink; explore possibilities for multiple passes with roller and multiple passes with the plate.
  2. Relief: demonstrate various techniques for transferring drawings to the plate; become familiar with the different qualities of carving surfaces (linoleum, hard and soft woods, long and endgrains); exercise safe and effective use of carving tools (knives, gouges, etc.) and maintain tools; successfully demonstrate various relief print techniques such as reduction, multiple block prints, etc.
  3. Intaglio: demonstrate sound techniques for dry or non-acid intaglio processes such as drypoint and engraving; properly prepare plate for etching (beveling, filing, coating); demonstrate sound procedures for effective biting, heating, inking, wiping and pulling of plates; explore use of other intaglio methods such as softground, aquatint, etc.
  4. Demonstrate ability to successfully ink a plate: (tack vs. length); roller choices and techniques for multiple layering.
  5. Investigate process and alternative solutions through other print states or reworked proofs.
  6. Demonstrate sound printmaking techniques: wiping, carving, registration, general presentation and notation.
  7. Understand how to select the most effective presentation for a particular image.
  8. Demonstrate familiarity with historical styles by comparing prints to those of other periods.