This course has concessions available

Experimental printmaking

It is designed for those with some experience of printmaking who want to develop their skills and ideas. The course suits a range of abilities, including adventurous artists who have limited printmaking experience. The Print Room will accommodate a smaller class size than normal due to implementing social distancing so classes will be restricted in number and potentially more in demand. An additional adjacent room will be made available so that you and the tutor can observe the distancing advice. There is also an online course in printmaking.

Tutor Bio: Linda Newcombe is an artist, printmaker and illustrator. She gained a Degree at Central St Martins in the 90s and a Masters at Falmouth University in 2018. Her specialism is printmaking and she uses it as a basis for all of her work. Linda has taught in colleges and universities for over 20 years and started teaching the printmaking courses at Mary Ward in 2013.

Available Classes:

Who is this course for

- Mixed-ability adult learners who have had some previous printmaking experience.
- Printmakers who want to use an etching-press will be able to make use of the facilities independently, after induction.
- Students who are preparing a portfolio of work, including Access and Pre-foundation Students.
- Painters, photographers, sculptors, designers, illustrators, architects and visual artists who wish to experiment with printmaking and develop ideas and new approaches to making personal work through the medium of print.
- Those who wish to extend their printmaking practice

This course is not suitable for those with little or no art experience - Printmaking Techniques and Projects is more suited for complete beginners....

What does this course cover

Students will be inducted in the use of the studio and its print equipment and facilities. Processes will be demonstrated and students will be able to explore techniques to their own work and projects. Because of the numerous different techniques available in printmaking, it will not be possible to cover in depth all the possible techniques therefore the tutor will vary the focus of the demonstrations each term and tailor the course to suit the group.
A selection of the following processes will be demonstrated each term. All processes will be covered in a 3 term year:
- Monoprinting
- Drypoint printing
- Block Printing
- Relief Printing (linocutting)
- Working with stencils
- Collography
- Carborundum printing
- Multiple plate printing
- Working with textures
- Transperent colour
- Printing by hand
- Layered printing
- Chine colle
- Mixed media printing
Experienced printmakers may bring previously prepared plates in to print by negotiation.
Week 1 will introduce you to the Mary Ward Centre, the printmaking facilities and the course content, where you can discuss questions about your printmaking ideas or experience. You will need to bring some of your previous work (this need not be printmaking work) so that the tutor may be able to tailor the programme to suit your needs. After the induction, you will be given some instruction in the use of the equipment in print production. Processes and techniques will be demonstrated which you can then freely apply to your own ideas within one of the print methods instructed.
Over the following weeks, demonstrations in a variety of secondary and complementary techniques will enable you to take an experimental mixed media approach. You will be encouraged to explore the creative and conceptual possibilities of mixing print media, and a range of exploratory colour approaches.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
- Use tools and equipment used in printmaking in a professional way, and understand best workshop practices, print planning and management
- Experiment freely with a range of methods, develop new and refine creative approaches to producing print work
- Create print work as a response to self-identified themes, considering aesthetic qualities and analyse & discuss possible meanings.
- Interpret work and ideas, making links to historical, cultural or contextual references
In addition you will be shown how to:

Register and edition prints using the press and hand-printing.
Appropriately use/combine various print methods.
Apply an experimental approach and develop personal techniques.
Use various inks and extenders appropriately.

What will it be like

Social distancing will be practised throughout the course, and you will need to respect the new rules at Mary Ward regarding the use of the building, the print room and the shared equipment. Specific areas will be made available for each student, and you will need to use the print equipment provided for you throughout the session, to avoid sharing and cross contamination. You are most welcome to bring your own rollers and knives if you have them. There will be systems in place for using the presses and sinks to contain the potential risks of Covid-19 which will mean that setting up your work station and clearing up will take longer than usual. The learning atmosphere will be one of self-directed exploration and development with the encouragement of a practising artist and printmaker, and other class members. Help and ideas will be given regularly to enable development and further creative production.
For each method of print, the tutor will demonstrate and then you will be able to apply the methods to your work. Suggestions will be given for improvements and alternatives. Demonstrations with hand outs will be given on a regular basis for additional and complementary methods.
You will be able to apply all the methods demonstrated to your work or alternatively use one preferred methods to make work, through negotiation with the tutor.
You will be shown and expected to apply safe printmaking processes. Safe practice will include the use of water soluble inks and non-solvent based systems, and correct use of all tools and equipment.
You will be able to plan, make and print your work using a variety of methods. You will be encouraged to look at the work and techniques of the others in the group and will be invited to discuss and share discoveries with the rest of the class. During the class, techniques and innovation will be highlighted and there will be impromptu discussions about the work within the group, in this way, disseminating knowledge and inspiring each other. The tutor will be assessing your work and providing feedback throughout.
You will be able to create a portfolio of work for your own cataloguing and sense of achievement throughout the course.

What else do you need to buy or do

You will be advised to keep and bring a sketch book or ideas book, and soft pencil each week. You will be encouraged to look at print examples and visit exhibitions throughout the term.

It is a good idea to arrive at the first session with a working sketchbook or project idea for starting to make print work, however themes for project development will be given to you if necessary.

General shared tools and equipment are provided in class, however many students find they can make best use of the time in class if they are able to work at home and you may benefit from having you own set of tools for lino cutting for example. To get the most out of the course, you may need to prepare sketches, drawings, photographs or colour plans or printing blocks / plates in advance.

A variety of different papers, inks, and colours will be available. Some materials are provided free of charge and others are sold at cost price. More specialist paper from about 20p per A3 sheet, which is charged weekly at cost. You are asked to please bring change. Paper costs will be dependent on personal choice, size and number of prints attempted. Paper prices are variable, and can range up to £3.50 per sheet.

What this course could lead to

As this course is developmental by nature, next steps will be varied. You may like to consider the following options:

- Exploring and developing techniques further by re-enrolling on the same course.
- Furthering your professional development options including exhibiting and selling.
- Setting up a print workshop at home.
- This course can be repeated to develop different techniques or extend existing ones

There is detailed information in Reception about all our courses at the Mary Ward Centre and a library of prospectuses for other London colleges to help you continue your studies. If you need more detailed advice, please ask your tutor.
Information about other learning opportunities can be obtained from Learn Direct: tel: 0800 101 901, and from the following websites:;

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’