The Armadillo courses are designed to transmit the practices and secrets of the engraving art with the aim of providing high level and highly qualified skills.
They are led by Master Manuel Ortega who boasts a great professionalism and invaluable skills acquired in over thirty years of teaching, and is a guarantee of the high educational quality that each course offers.
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Engraving and Printmaking Techniques
The classes offered by the Armadillo Atelier are available from September to June. The courses will allow for the approaching and/or perfectioning of the engraving techniques. The themes of the courses will vary in order to allow the students to learn all the secrets of the techniques described in this page.
Our classes are offered in 4 packages, illustrated below. Each package must be used for a maximum of one month from the starting date, deciding the timetable for the lessons in agreement with the teacher.
The individual lessons last 3 hours and are held in the morning or in the afternoon, according to a schedule decided in advance with the teacher..
For information and registration fill and send the form on the contact page, or call +39 055 0461654 or write an email to
Color Printmaking Course
The training proposals of the Armadillo expand with the Color Engraving Course, which will be held in September, October and November 2020, structured in three intensive modules of a high level of training, for a total of 160 hours, held by Master Manuel Ortega.
The color engraving course is exclusive to Armadillo, the complexity of the methods proposed require such skill and competence that few teachers possess.
In fact, the various techniques of the color course are inspired by the research and studies of Masters who invented or developed the procedure. Maestro Ortega learned them directly from them or from their collaborators, over time he transformed and refined them according to his experience, to make them more usable.
The engraving techniques are usually associated with a graphic elaboration in which the print is monochromatic with black ink or another color. In the past, many attempts were required to obtain color prints. Initially, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, color was used to paint woodblock prints, subsequently color printing systems were perfected directly on multiple matrices.
The Armadillo color engraving course features five color printing methods, grouped into three distinct courses.
The various methods of color printing, different in the execution modes, offer various possibilities of artistic application. In recent years, color printing techniques have attracted the interest of numerous artists who see the future of engraving in polychrome prints.
The course takes place in the afternoon, from Monday to Friday, from 2.30pm to 6.30pm. You can also attend a single module.
The three modules will address the following topics:
• Lost matrix iron engraving · 40 hours · from 14 to 25 September 2020
• Multi-plate color engraving · 80 hours · from 5 to 30 October 2020
• Hayter color method + Color and carborundum collography · 40 hours · from 9 to 20 November 2020
Read below the costs and a brief description of the techniques.
For information and registration, fill in and send the form on the contact page, or call 055 0461654 or write an email to
(Incisione su ferro · Incisione multilastre · Hayter + collografia e carborundum)
Lost matrix iron engraving
The technique of color engraving on lost iron matrix was presented for the first time at the Armadillo in 2016 by Maestro Pere Pons who perfected the method. The technique involves the lost matrix engraving on an iron plate. The print is made with the overlap of the three primary colors.
Multilayer color engraving
Multilayer color engraving is a course consisting of two methods: the additional method and the subtractive method.
The additional method is based on the use of three plates which, after being engraved, are inked with the three primary colors. This allows to obtain polychrome prints in which the chromatic overlay generates a very wide range of colors.
In the subtractive method, the three plates are granulated to obtain a rough surface that generates a print with maximum color saturation. Subsequently, by lowering the grain, the light parts are obtained and rich tonal gradations are returned to the slabs.
The two techniques can be combined with each other to obtain results with greater shades, shades and color contrasts.
Engraving by the Hayter method
The color etching method created by the painter and engraver Stanley William Hayter is based on the processing of several plates with etching at different layers of depth. The dry printing technique involves the use of modified colors spread with rollers of different hardnesses to obtain tonal variations and interesting chromatic overlaps.
Engraving with the method of color and carborundum collography
Collography is a versatile method that gives the possibility to create a series of experimental matrices obtained by using different materials. The prints are characterized by the free use of colors that generate unique interweaving of colors and refined shades.
Printmaking Evening Course
The printmaking evening course takes place every Wednesday from 8 to 11 pm, from October to June.
Course is open to everyone, even beginners.
During the course various techniques and processing methods are teached: etching, aquatint, drypoint, soft ground, mezzotint.
For information fill out and send the form on the contact page, or call 055 0461654 or send an email to