Printmaking classes at SOMArts offer dynamic, reasonably-priced classes for experienced and beginning printmakers.

All supplies are included, with the exception of plates and paper (which can be purchased directly from the instructor at cost). Please bring an apron or old shirt to protect your clothing, and leave perfectionism and control at the door.

About the Instructor:  Katie Gilmartin valiantly attempted to embody the anguished suffering artist, but chronic backsliding forced her to resign herself to a life of delight, abundance, and gusto.  She cofounded City Art Cooperative Gallery and managed the gallery for 17 years, and founded and directs the Queer Ancestors Project.  Her award-winning illustrated noir novel, Blackmail, My Love, serves as a revelatory history of San Francisco’s Queer underground in the 1950s.  You can learn more about Katie’s art, writing, and teaching at

Printmaking class

Monotype Immersion

The most serendipitous and experimental of printmaking techniques, monotype is an ideal medium for exploring your creativity. It’s quick and easy to learn, and all about play: you’ll spend the afternoon engaging with color, texture, and the gorgeous detail of leaves and blossoms — and you’ll go home with twelve completely unique prints. All materials for the class are included. No experience necessary and no drawing skills required. Classes are limited to five students so you’ll receive individualized attention.

Linocut Immersion

Begin with a simple image you love, and leave with an edition of twelve prints made by your hands. You’ll learn all the basics: transferring an image, envisioning it in positive/negative space, carving, inking, and printing on a Griffin etching press. You’ll also learn two versatile printing techniques: rainbow rolls and double drops, each a simple path to dazzling multicolor prints. If you like, bring a t-shirt or tea-towel and print your image (permanent, washable!) on that as well. You’ll go home armed with the skills to continue printing at home with a simple wooden spoon. All materials for this class are included. No experience necessary and no drawing skills required. Limited to five students so you’ll receive individualized attention.

Mesmerizing Monotype

Monotypes are often called “painterly prints”: their creation is spontaneous, serendipitous, and immediate. In this class you’ll learn to produce vibrant one-of-a-kind prints combining the simplicity of stencils, the gorgeous detail of leaf and blossom prints, and a rich variety of textures. We’ll explore painting on monotype plates, layering images with multiple “drops,” and chine collé. Monotypes can be printed on fabric as well as paper. The majority of class time will be devoted to hands-on experimentation and creation. Beginners welcome, as well as those with experience in the medium; each student will receive individual attention at his or her level. Drawing skills not necessary. All supplies included, except paper. Classes are intimate: limited to five students.

Printmaking Classes

Luminous Linocut

Linocut transforms the simplest of images into graphic form, producing bold, dramatic prints. You’ll learn to plan an image, cut a lino plate, and create positive and negative lines. You will print with two or three-color viscosity as well as rainbow rolls, and you’ll learn to register multiple “drops.” Linocuts make gorgeous prints; they can be used to create notecards and to print on fabric as well as paper. Come loosen up, play, and experiment. Beginners welcome, as well as those with experience in the medium; each student will receive individual attention at his or her level. All supplies included, except for paper and linocut plates. Classes are intimate: limited to five students.

Printmaking class

Drawing for the Artistically Shy, Creatively Challenged, & Dexterously Doubtful

If you’ve always wanted to draw but cringed at your most earnest attempts, allow this class to pull back the veil on your creative capacity. Utilizing the insights of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, we’ll do a variety of exercises enabling you to gain access to the visual, perceptual mode of the brain, and then to develop such skills as contour drawing, proportion, and perspective. This approach to drawing is truly transformative. In order to receive the full benefit of this class, please expect to do at least one hour of homework each work. Class is intimate: limited to 5 students.

Printmaking Classes

Introduction to Matcutting

Because professional matting and framing include a huge price mark-up, cutting mats is an essential skill for anyone who creates art on paper. Happily, matcutting is relatively easy, even for those (like me) who find venturing into the world of fractions alarming. In two evenings you’ll learn the basics of matcutting on a Logan 450 Intermediate Matcutter, and each participant will mat at least three pieces. The Logan 450 runs about $150 and quickly pays for itself; the basic function of most matcutters is similar. Cost of class includes archival quality matboard in white or black for artwork to fit in a frame that is 16 by 20 or smaller (for other colors and larger pieces, students should provide own matboard). Participants should bring artwork to be matted and know the size of the frame in which it will reside. Class limited to five students.

Omnivorous Open Studio

This is an opportunity for experienced printmakers to use the studio at very low cost; no instruction is provided. Participation is limited to 5 printers to prevent bottlenecks on the press. Because familiarity with this studio’s equipment and procedures is required, you need to have taken at least one six-week class (or a weekend monotype intensive) at Chrysalis Studio to attend. Please register for only one of the two open studios. Pre-registration is required. Colors will be decided by participants at 6 sharp.

Queer Ancestors Project

Queer Ancestors Project

This workshop is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, queer, questioning, and intersex artists who are interested in exploring their Queer ancestry. Using history as a linchpin, we build community by providing young Queer adults (age 18 to 26) free interdisciplinary workshops in printmaking, writing, and Queer history. Public exhibitions and readings of their work provide a window on the past through which the larger community can glimpse our collective future. We’ll spend 12 fabulous weeks together studying linocut printmaking and Queer history. The class is free and all supplies are included (up to $40 in paper and lino). Homework assignments of at least three hours each week will involve researching your Queer ancestors, writing about your process, and creating prints exploring your own Queer ancestry. In the spring we’ll mount a group exhibition of prints at the San Francisco LGBT Center. Throughout the workshop we’ll share our experiences, encourage exploration, and honor one another’s visions.