A collagraph is traditionally a print pulled from a plate of collaged materials, such as card, thin fabric, string or sand. However, it is also possible to make plates made where cardboard has grooved incised in it, or has areas peeled away to reveal the rough areas beneath. Collagraph is a versatile method of printmaking as it can be inked either as relief or intaglio.
Many of my prints are collagraphs. I favour the method where I start with an ordinary piece of mountboard (matboard) and gradually remove the surface layer in the areas I will later want to be the dark areas of my print. This is because the grooves created and the rougher under-layers of the cardboard will retain more ink than the smoother top layer.
By adding varnish selectively, I can create areas with will wipe very cleanly when using the intaglio method, and therefore show up as lighter areas on the finished print.
In my 'Standing Figures' series, the colours are added by inking up a second plate and running them through the press consecutively.