Polyester Plate Lithography - Arts West Artists Retreat Clear Lake, MB

Spaces are still available in Printmaking and Watermedia

Come learn about the process of Polyester Plate Lithography


Polyester plate lithographs can convey the lightness of touch and a likeness to the medium of drawing that stone lithography is known for, without the toxic processes

The word lithography comes from the Greek lithos meaning stone and graphein meaning to write.  In traditional lithography the artist literally works and pulls prints from a limestone matrix.  Lithography is a planographic process, the matrix is flat and contains no physical features (such as etched or engraved lines) that will pass on any information to the prints.

Polyester plate printing started as a low cost, yet professional form of commercial offset lithography. This non-toxic medium, also known as Pronto Plate Lithography, is capable of reproducing the full spectrum of lithographic marks such as: hand drawn brush strokes, ink wash, texture, crayon and pencil marks, and is equally well suited for digital imaging.

Winnipeg – early spring’, Peter Graham, 2014.Images can be created/manipulated in Photoshop and printed directly to the Polyester Plate with a laser printer. (Polyester Plate on left, print on right.)

The plates can be drawn on directly with sharpie or ballpoint pen, pencil or traditional lithographic crayons, and washes can be created with toner, Speedball screen filler or india ink. The plates contain tiny pores that accept and hold water.  By covering those pores with a waterproof substance the artist creates an area that will accept ink.

During printing, the truly lithographic nature of this method - utilizing the repulsion between grease and water – is revealed. Lithographic printing typically involves alternating between wetting the plate and rolling over it with greasy ink
in multiple passes until the desired density of ink has built up. The plates may be printed on etching presses or even by hand by placing the inked plate in contact with well dampened paper, and rubbing thoroughly from the back with a wooden spoon to make the impression.