The print technique is dependant on oil and water repelling each other. The ‘plate’ was originally a stone [limestone] but subsequently zinc or aluminium. No incision or cutting is made to the surface of the plate.

The lithographer draws directly on the plate using a special greasy crayon or ink. When the stone has been treated it is wetted, and inked. The ink adheres uniquely to the area drawn upon, not to the bare stone. Little pressure is required to transfer the image to paper and many examples can be printed. The cheapness of the method ensured it’s rapid success.

Chromolithography uses several stones, one for each colour used.

Many other techniques exist; specialist reference books exist in all libraries.