planography (lithography)

Lithography means stone printing and is based on the principle that water and oil repel one another. First of all, using a crayon and ink, an image is drawn on a block of limestone, which has been ground to form a flat smooth block. Following numerous consecutive treatments, the stone is then flooded with water. The areas not drawn on with crayon become wet and the areas drawn on with crayon and ink remain dry, because oil repels water. Oily printer's ink is then applied to the stone with a roller; the wet areas of the stone repel the ink. The print is created by the stone being covered by a sheet of paper and being run through the press; this is a mirror image of the original image on the stone. Because this does not involve height and depth differences, we call this lithography a flat printing technique.

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