How to make a Pronto/Polymer/Polyester Plate Lithograph

a Polyester Plate Lithography (Nontoxicprint.com)
a Polyester Litho Plates PDF (Washington State University)

Polyester Plate (Graphics Revolution)




Create a small that can be replicated onto the pronto plate


Replicate your image onto the pronto plate using sharpie markers, lithocrayon, china marker, stabile pencil, and/or laser print. Try anything that is waterproof. Attempt to avoid getting oil from fingers onto the plate.
Use the non-shiny side.
You may also run the polyester paper through select printers.


Prepare Table:
Sponges: Save one for when you need to do cleaner work.
Empty dish: To empty sponge of water when you need a dry sponge.
Water dish: To load the sponge


Prepare Printing Ink:
Oil based , Use burnt plate oil (or) Setswell Compound if ink is too stiff.


Prepare Plate:
Rube gum Arabic onto pronto plate using fingers.


Keep brayer tacky but not too loaded.
Make strokes overlap to eliminate brayer lines.


Run the print via the printing press
(or) do an evenly rubbed hand print with wooden spoon.


Clean up:
Use Veggie oil to clean plates and table. Use simple green to clean off the oil.


Place print between plywood or heavy cardboard and newsprint to help the print to dry flat


Sign Print:
Pronto plate is hand run like a monotype so it is not considered an edition. Multiples can be run

Prontoplate Gallery 1
Prontoplate Gallery 2

Creating a file from the photograph scanner:
1. Place image face-down in top/right corner of scanner and click on the scanner icon at the bottom of your screen.
2. Make sure the resolution is set to 600dpi and click “scan”.
3. Click save and then name the file before clicking “ok”
Opening the file:
1. Click on the feather icon at the bottom of your screen to open Photoshop
2. Once Photoshop is open, select “File” at the top of your screen at then “Open”
3. In the left-hand column, select “Desktop”
4. Now you should be able to select your image from the list that appears
5. Continue to click “ok” until your image appears
Editing the file
1. To crop the picture to the size that you want, hit “C” on your keyboard and then drag a box over the part of the image that you want to keep.
2. To alter the image with interesting effects, select “Filter” from the top of your screen and then click on any item in the list. A Filter Gallery will appear, allowing you to experiment with different effects that can be used on your image.
3. Because Pronto plates don’t like soft, subtle changes in value, try to choose an effect that creates high-contrast imagery (lots of difference between the lights and darks)
3. When you have found one that you like, select “OK”
4. When you are done editing your image, select “File” from the top of your screen and then select “Save As”.
5. Now select “Save” to overwrite your first file. Next time you open that file, it will look like the changes you just made.
Printing the file in color separations
1. Click on the butterfly icon at the bottom of your screen to open InDesign.
(you can close Photoshop if you like – we won’t be needing it again)
2. Select “New Document”
3. Select “Paper Size” and change it to “Legal”
4. Select “File” from the top of your screen and then click “Place”
5. Select the file that you just saved when you used Photoshop
6. Click on the upper left corner of the pink/purple border on your page to place your image
7. Select the bottom right corner of your image and drag the box to match the bottom right corner of the pink/purple boarder
8. Hold down “Ctrl” on your keyboard and click on your image – a menu should appear
9. Highlight “Fitting” and select “Fit Content Proportionally”
10. Select “File” from the top of your screen and then click “Print”
11. Select “Printer: Post Script File” and change it to say “Elite 12/600”
12. Select “Output” from the box on the right
13. Change “Color: Composite Gray” to “Separations”
14. Make sure your Pronto plate is the only thing in the printer
14. Click “Print”
The printer will print your picture 4 times, so you will have to put the next plate in after each one is finished. Each plate that it prints will look slightly different. This is because each one represents the color of ink that you will use on that plate – even though the plates come out with only black ink. The first one to come out represents your Cyan ink, the second represents Magenta, the third is Yellow, and the last is Black. Be sure you know which is which because these are the colors you will use to ink up each plate.

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