Introduction to Intaglio Printmaking

An introduction to intaglio printmaking in the creation of fine illustrated natural science books. A part-theory, part-practical course led by Katrina van Grouw

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
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020 7434 4479 ext 228
Registration: Open

ART COURSE - Thursdays commencing 14th November and ending 5th December 2019 (18:00–21:00)

The Temple of Flora
Image from The Temple of Flora by Robert John Thornton

This course is a unique opportunity to dive into an important process in the history of natural history illustration - intaglio printing - a group of traditional methods using metal plates to produce some of the most iconic and evocative images in fine printed natural science books.

With the guidance of renowned artist, author and illustrator Katrina van Grouw, participants will learn about the reproduction processes used in historical natural history books and use an intaglio process known as drypoint to produce several prints from copper plates.

Though all necessary equipment will be provided, participants are encouraged to bring their own drawing materials and a note book to keep notes on the methods used. They will also be encouraged to work at home on their plates in between classes.

The first two sessions will take place in the newly-built studio in the Linnean Society, and at Bainbridge Print Studios at Elephant and Castle for the later two.

Week 1 (Linnean Society):

Participants will be introduced to a variety of different printing methods and their history, using rare books and images from the Linnean Society's library and collections. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to examine some of the finest examples of historical natural science illustration at first hand. This will be followed by an introduction to drypoint.

Week 2 (Linnean Society):

Participants will be working in drypoint using a variety of tools on their copper plate, with guidance and support from Katrina. The natural history subject matter isn’t mandatory, but participants are encouraged to seek their inspiration from nature!

Week 3 (Bainbridge Print Studios, Elephant and Castle):

Katrina will provide an introduction to the skills and techniques used in high quality editioning. Participants will then work to create several prints of their plates.

Week 4 (Bainbridge Print Studios, Elephant and Castle):

With guidance from Katrina, participants will continue to hone their printing skills and produce beautiful finished drypoint prints to take home.

This 4-evening course costs £240 and is open to all.

  • Registration is essential to secure your place.
  • Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Participants can only purchase the full course; individual dates are not available.

PSSST! Did you know the Discovery Workshop programme is non-for-profit, with any leftover income cycling back to subsidise places for those who are unable to pay? To apply for a subsidised or free place, please send an email to, noting which workshop/course you are interested in attending.

About the facilitator

Katrina van Grouw

Katrina van Grouw began intaglio printmaking in 1986, and continued working predominantly in drypoint for a further 20 years. She is also experienced in plate and stone lithography, various relief processes, and all other traditional intaglio processes.

Katrina gained a BA in Fine Art (Printmaking) from Exeter College of Art and Design in 1990, and then went on to the Royal College of Art where she was taught high quality editioning by the excellent etching technician there, Alan Smith.

As a self-employed Fine Artist, Katrina worked exclusively on very large scale (A0 size) copper plates, incorporating a multitude of intaglio methods with drypoint. She exhibited widely in local and national print exhibitions and had a string of solo exhibitions.

Katrina has taught several adult education printmaking classes as well as undergraduate Fine Art and Illustration students at the University of Plymouth. An expert in historical natural history illustration, Katrina has worked with several major institutions including the British Library and the Natural History Museum as a freelance consultant on Audubon’s Birds of America and had written a book about the history of birds in art. She is also the author and illustrator of two wonderful books about evolution and adaptations in animals: The Unfeathered Bird, and Unnatural Selection.

Event Registration

Introduction to Intaglio Printmaking Course - £240.00 (4 places remaining)

Once you have bought your ticket online, you will receive a CONFIRMATION EMAIL. Please bring it with you on the day, either in print or on your phone. If you do not receive this email, please get in touch with to confirm your place.

Refunds will only be available if the position can be refilled. Please see T&Cs for more information.

We will only contact via telephone if there is a last minute change to the event and we need to get in contact urgently.

Map & Directions

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