Users instructions for
ImagOn and ImagOn Ultra photopolymer
These instructions are
based on ImagOn Ultra. However, these instructions can also
be used for other photopolymer films (ImagOn, Riston,
Puretch, Photec, etc.) These other films will probably react
differently in some techniques. ImagOn Ultra is superior to
the other films when used for the techniques as here
described. Some properties of different films;
- ImagOn (ImagOn
"classic) has been used many years with great succes.
Keith Howard based his book "Non-toxic Intaglio
Printmaking" (available in Polymetaal's internet shop
under "New books about printmaking")on this film.
Actually the ImagOn film is technically the same as
DuPont's film Riston. DuPont stopped the production of
Riston in spring 2002. It became therefore a necessity to
find an alternative film. Keith Howard did several tests
on other films and came up with a film he called ImagOn
Ultra. Since 2005 Keith Howard ended the relationship
with Dupont and tested a new film from a different
manufacturer, called ImagOn Ultra Rapid.
- Riston (4720)
This is the film that has been used for years and
sold under the name "ImagOn". These days it is not
anymore in production.
- Puretch is
perfectly suited for "etched intaglio-type" techniques.
In these techniques it is superior to ImagOn (Ultra)
(Riston) because the film is much thinner. It is
therefore a perfect resist. The ImagOn Ultra films are
too thick for this purpose. If used in the original
thickness, it leads to loss of detail (dispersed light).
Therefore Keith Howard recommmands to thin the film in a
soda bath. By using Puretch however you do not need to
thin the film, and even the quality of the print is
better compared to a thinned ImagOn (Ultra) print.
- DK-film (Danish)
is similar to the ImagOn Ultra rapid film.
photopolymer film. Polymetaal has some stock of this film
(60cm wide) but we have not yet done any research on this
film. We presume it will act similar as the ImagOn Ultra
Copper or zinc.
Keith Howard uses always copper. Zinc is possible
however. Zinc allows less prints than copper, but the
quantity of prints is often not an issue. Lamination on zinc
can be done. There is no problem if zinc is used in the
"non-etch" techniques. It can also be used with a
photopolymer films as a resist, etched in ferric chloride.
However etching zinc in ferric chloride gives more fumes
than using copper in ferric chloride. It is advised to use
(etching in a copper sulphate solution) if zinc is used.
There must be done some more research however on the
behaviour of acrylic grounds in a bath of copper sulphate
User's instructions for
The following techniques were mainly developed by Keith
Howard and mostly already described in his book "Non-toxic
Intaglio Printmaking". Potopolymer film gives almost endless
posibilities and even more if combined with traditional
printmaking techniques. Keith Howard just tried to explore
as many possibilities with this film and "distilled" it into
some described techniques. In order to facilitate
communication about these techniques he labelled them and
gave them a name.
Click on the
Different types of plates (different materials and/or
techniques) require different preparations.
How to apply a photopolymer film to a
The developer is used to dissolve unexposed areas in
the film. These areas will become cavities and contain
ink when printed.
Main instructions for (non-etch) Intaglio Type
A toner wash drawing simulates lithographic tusche
washes. As "tusche" is used a mixture of photocopy toner,
acrylic floor finish and alcohol.
Screen Exposure test
Before using an aquatint screen a step exposure test
should be done to determine the best Aquatint Screen
exposure for your unit. An aquatint Screen is needed if
your image has grey tones (convert continuous tone into
STEP-TEST for Mylar Stencils
Procedure for testing the correct exposure for a
Toner-Wash drawing onto single sided Drafting
Computer generated images can be used to create
positives for the ImagOn film.
This technique involves drawing, painting, or placing
objects in direct contact with the top surface of the
ImagOn-coated plate. No transparent positive is
A playful way to work with ImagOn; exposed pieces of
film are laminated in a wrinkled manner onto an earlier
exposed layer of ImagOn.
A film is exposed to an aquatint screen, some
areas are then filled up with an acrylic filler. these
"filled" areas will print white on a black
A film is exposed to an aquatint screen. with a brush
several concentrations of developer can then be applied
to the film, thus creating darker "washed" lines on a
Pieces of ImagOn are added to the plate and either
developed and exposed together or seperately. This
provides a very creative way in which almost any plate
can be explored.
More than one layer if ImagOn can be applied at the
plate at one time. This allows not only for greater ink
deposits in the plate but also allows for a unique plate
making technique where different ImagOn layers can be
exposed to either the aquatint screen or other
This technique allows to create a
"crackle-effect" which simulates the type of cracking
that happens to ancient Chinese pots. There is no
exposure of the ImagOn in the creation of this
A method of adding rich black areas to any intaglio
plate, without use of rosin dust powder, aquatint box,
aquatint screen or other equipment.
Using the "thinned" ImagOn Ultra as a resist in
combination with a line drawing or half tone image and
Paint on the plate with diluted Screen Filler, let it
dry, and etch in ferric chloride.
a Transparency for 4 Color
How to create on a computer 4 different transparent
positives for printing, in register, a 4 color intaglio
Ink Preparation for 4 Color
How to mix the four colors for 4 color Intaglio
Traditional hard hourd technique but the varnish is
replaced with an acrylic resist.
resist: Lift Ground
This lift ground is based on the fact that oil and
water don't mix. The grounds in Acrylic Resist Etching
are water-based and will not stick to an oily surface.
Image appplied with oily media.
There are many ways to work a soft ground and there
are several grounds that will stay soft for a short
period of time.
Making an acrylic resist aquatint with an airbrush
and spray booth.
an inked plate
How to clean an inked plate
of Imagon film
How to strip the ImagOn from a plate and make the
plate usable again.
"back-button" to go back to the ImagOn