“Prints” can be a confusing word. Here, I’m talking about limited edition intaglio or relief prints. For me, I like making prints because they’re on paper and they require care.

Female Wood Duck

Willow – Multi-plate Aquatint

At WildCare, I was part of the ambassador program. We learned to do positive reinforcement training and I had the absolute joy of training Willow, a female Wood Duck! Willow loved meal worms.


Eurasian Eagle Owl at SF Zoo
Red shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk – Reduction Woodcut
Pt Reyes Sunflowers – Multi-plate Aquatint
Nicasio – Aquatint
Nicasio 2 – Aquatint
White-crowned Sparrow
Sparrow – Wood Engraving
Western Screech Owl
Buho (Western Screech Owl) – Woodcut
Western Screech Owl
Buho (Western Screech Owl) – Auqatint
Bird on a Wire – Soft Ground and Aquatint
Fox Squirrel
Fox Squirrel – Linocut
Tree Frog
Tree Frog – Trace Monotype
Frog – Trace Monotype
Sea Ranch Sunset
Sea Ranch Sunset – Reduction Woodcut
Easter Sunday Family Photo
Easter Sunday – Woodcut
Female Wood Duck
Willow – Multi-plate Aquatint
Butterfly – wood engraving
Sacramento Wildlife Refuge – Multi-plate Aquatint
Boy and Cow
A Boy and His Cow – Multi-plate Aquatint
Sunset Dog – Hard Ground and Aquatint
Peregrine Falcon
Pele – Linocut
Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle – Linocut
Oak Leaves – Monotype
Abbotts Lagoon Sparrow – Trace Monotype

The Process

Nothing is simple with printmaking, but I’m going to do my best to simplify here (if you know me, you know how hard that is).

There are two basic styles of printmaking: Intaglio vs. relief.

With intaglio (don’t pronounce the ‘g’), grooves are made in a plate, ink is forced into the grooves, and damp paper is forced into those inked grooves to get the ink. As one printmaker said, it’s like the paper and ink are fused together under the pressure. There are many ways to create the grooves, including engraving and etching (dry point, hard ground, soft ground, and aquatint). Here’s a video to give you a HINT of the process:

Intagio YouTube video

Relief printmaking is the opposite of intaglio. Most of us did relief prints in elementary school, making prints with a cut away potato or other surface. With relief printing, what you cut away stays white, ink is rolled out on the remaining surface and transferred to the paper with some pressure. Relief prints can be made with linoleum or wood or rubber (or potatoes). Here’s a peek at relief printmaking:

© 2022┃ Mary C Blake