L'Armadillo offers engraving courses for all levels, structured in laboratory activities, designed to transmit the practices and secrets of the engraving art, with the aim of providing high-level skills and high-quality training.
The Engraving Techniques courses and the Color Course are led by Master Manuel Ortega who boasts a great professionalism and invaluable skills acquired in over thirty years of teaching.
To attend the courses of L'Armadillo it is necessary to subscribe to the annual membership card info>
For information and registration fill and send the form on the contact page, or call +39 055 0461654 or write an email to
Due to the Covid emergency, courses are temporarily suspended. Stay in touch or subscribe to the newsletter, at the bottom of the page, to be informed about upcoming initiatives.
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. The Courses are open to all.
Our classes are offered in 5 packages, illustrated below. The four packages/hours are valid for 1 month from the start date. The Loyalty package is valid for one year.
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.
STUDENT DISCOUNT · A 20€ discount is applied on each package to students under 25.
(2 lessons per week lasting 3 hours each, throughout the year, excluding the months of July and August, and 20% discount on workshops)
€ 1,000.00 annually
Color Engraving Course
The Color Engraving Course is structured in three intensive modules of a high educational level, for a total of 160 hours , held by Maestro Manuel Ortega.
It is an exclusive of L'Armadillo , 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.
Five color printing methods are taught, grouped into three distinct modules . It is also possible to attend a single module.
The three modules address the following topics:
• Lost matrix iron engraving · 40 hours
• Multi-plate color engraving · 80 hours
• Hayter method in color + Collography in color and carborundum · 40 hours
Read below the costs and a brief description of the techniques.
(Iron engraving, Multi-plate engraving, Hayter + collography and 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.