Exploring paper lithography with Ralph Overill

Ref: SWE29624

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About this course

Learn how to transfer and transform images with this fun and accessible process. Make a photograph look 100 years old or turn a pencil sketch into a myriad of colours using the principals of traditional stone and plate lithography.

Course Description

Learn and experiment with a simple, but very effective, image transfer technique, based on the lithographic process, in a relaxed and friendly environment.

Working with a variety of source imagery – from photographs and photocopies to sketches and rubbings – you will be shown how to achieve subtle colour blends, fade aways, layering multiple colours and collaging images.

You will gain confidence in using an intaglio press, control in registering (or misregistering) multiple images and be shown how to make a registration sheet. You will learn how to mix inks and prepare paper correctly for the process, alongside how to set up to continue exploring paper lithography at home.

After a first day structured around demonstrations and practice, with tailored support from the tutor, you will be encouraged to work more experimentally, adapting the process to your own creative interests on the second day. The tutor will advise you individually on possibilities for your own artistic practices.

There will be the opportunity (weather permitting) to use the college grounds to make sketches and take rubbings from textures and surfaces that can also be incorporated into the prints.

On the first evening, there will be an illustrated talk by the tutor, where he will introduce himself and present his expanded printmaking practice, explaining how paper lithography fits into his doctoral research project: ‘Monsters and Margins’.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • Everything required for the course will be provided by the college and tutor, including all inks and basic printing paper. However, you may wish to experiment with different printmaking papers, which can be brought along or purchased from the shop, or you may wish to create onsite sketches to use in your prints.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a selection of images(10 or so), which should be no larger than A4 in size, printed in black and white/ greyscale from a photocopier or laserJet printer onto standard white office printer paper. These could be multiple copies of the same image or all different images, or a combination of the two. Please be aware that most normal desktop printers are inkjet printers and the printouts from these will not work in the paper lithography process. Any inkjet prints or colour prints will have to be photocopied using the college photocopier before they can be used. Please note that high contrast images are easier to work with, though any grayscale image will transfer. Your lithographic prints will be mirror-images of your originals, so any text, etc. will appear the 'wrong way round' in your prints unless reversed in the original. These images could be photographs, sketches, drawings, paintings, collages, found items (postcards, etc.) Please bring hard copies rather than digital files. The more variety, the better.
  • Please bring a sketchbook and drawing materials (optional) if you would like to create onsite sketches to use in your prints. You may be encouraged to take rubbings from the college grounds (weather dependent).
  • Please wear old clothes, apron, sensible shoes, etc. as you will be working with oil-based inks and printmaking can get messy.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good selection of art materials including additional printing papers

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Ralph Overill - tutor at West Dean College

Ralph Overill

Ralph Overill is an artist and educator based in Essex. Since graduating with an MA in Printmaking from Camberwell College of Arts in 2011, he has worked on prints for many professional artists, alongside teaching at London Print Studio and Havering College. Ralph regularly exhibits his work in London and is currently studying for a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.