Pushing the Limits of Printmaking: Papers & Inks

Printmaking inks are specialized inks used in various printmaking techniques to transfer images onto paper or other surfaces.

There are several types of printmaking inks, each tailored to suit different techniques and preferences such as: Oil-based inks, Water-based inks, Ascrylic inks, Etching inks and Screen printing inks

For this article, we are going over Akua Inks, favored by printmakers for their ease of use, versatility, and eco-friendly properties.

These inks are made with high-quality pigments and a soy-based binder, making them safe to use and easy to clean up with water

See our recommended curated selection of: Printmaking Papers & Artist inks

Akua printmaking inks

Akua Intaglio Inks and Akua Liquid Pigments

Originally created by professional printmaker Susan Rostow, Akua Intaglio Inks and Akua Liquid Pigments have pushed artists well beyond the boundaries of traditional printmaking.

These revolutionary inks possess unique working properties that allow artists creative opportunities unlike anything else on the market.

Akua represents the same dedication to quality and innovation upon which Speedball was built.

Developed by professional printmaker, Susan Rostow, Akua Inks offer artists an unprecedented printmaking experience. Formulated to dry through absorption, not evaporation,

Akua Inks remove any time constraints from the creative process since the inks will only dry once printed into the fibers of the paper. 

Akua Inks also eliminate the need to handle toxic solvents

Akua printmaking inks
Akua printmaking inks

The unmatched working properties offered by the Akua lines of inks offer up creative potential unlike any other ink on the market. 

The innovative formulations responsible for these properties can lead to a range of questions from our  printmakers–none more often heard than regarding Akua Intaglio’s viscosity, both across colors and over time

  • Formulated to dry through absorption not evaporation, Akua Inks possess incredibly long open times meaning artists don’t have to rush through their work.
  • Soy- (Intaglio) and gum- (Liquid Pigment) bases make for easy soap and water clean-up and a completely non-toxic working experience.
  • Inks are fume free, removing the need for expensive ventilation systems.
  • Line includes an impressive range of modifiers allowing artists to play with transparency and viscosity, increasing the creative potential offered with each use.
  • Ideally- suited for a wide range of printmaking techniques, Akua Inks can be utilized for monotype, collagraph, intaglio/ etching and relief printing.

Made from the highest-quality lightfast pigments, Akua Inks appeal to more than just printmakers. Artists from painters to mixed media artists, photographers to animators have found that Akua Inks open up possibilities beyond the expected.

printmaking examples

In addition, the Akua Pin Press makes it easy and affordable to print anywhere.

See (below) how Susan Rostow incorporates printmaking, painterly techniques and the Pin Press to create stunning works of one-of-a-kind artwork!

See the Monotype Printing Press in action!

Don’t Forget Your Printmaking Papers!

Ink on Printmaking paper
Ink on Printmaking paper

Printmaking paper is an essential component for artists seeking to create exquisite prints through various techniques such as etching, engraving, lithography, or relief printing. Unlike regular paper, printmaking paper possesses specific qualities that make it suitable for these artistic processes.

Printmaking paper is typically thicker and more durable, allowing it to withstand the pressure and manipulation involved in the printmaking process.

It has the ability to absorb ink or other printing media evenly and withstand the pressure of printing presses, and maintain the integrity of the printed image.

Choosing the right paper is crucial as it directly influences the final outcome of the artwork.

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