• Joan Miró Graphic Art Workshops

    • Workshop on Soft Varnish - Colour Printmaking
  • Given by

    • Julio León
  • Dates

    • From Tuesday 3rd to Thursday 12th September 2024
  • Timetable

    • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop will not be held on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Maximum no. of students

    • 8
  • Price

    • 260 €
  • Terms & Application form

  • Contact


T3. 2024 Workshop on Soft Varnish – Colour Printmaking [FULL – Waiting List]

“In Search of Traces” given by Julio León

3 — 12 September 2024
Workshops and courses

The workshop “In Search of Traces” aims to provide technical knowledge related to soft varnish and color printmaking.

This technique was originally devised to create lines similar to pencil strokes, although it can also be used to create other types of lines, working directly on the varnish. It is also possible to achieve all kinds of textures and the imprints of fabric, rope, leaves, feathers and other materials, together with hand or footprints, opening up a myriad of creative possibilities.

Because soft varnish does not harden, it can be used to work in different ways on copper plates, with very diverse graphic results. Since the varnish is black and it is easy to stir, it is possible to see what the final outcome will be. The participants will also work with several plates in the creation of a colour image.


  • To gain an insight into soft varnish and its characteristics so that graphic elements can be incorporated in images (something that is not possible with other techniques).
  • To work on colour, using several plates and the simple method of drawing on paper, registering the different matrices.
  • To leave traces of different elements and objects in the varnish. Copper plates will be used, with ferric chloride as a mordant.


  • An explanation of the soft varnish technique and different ways of working with it.
  • The composition of the varnish, and how to make and store it.
  • Applying it to copper plates with a roller.
  • Heating the varnish.
  • Different ways of drawing on the matrices.
  • The biting time of the copper plates in the ferric chloride.
  • Cleaning the plates, inking and printing.
  • Printing the chosen matrices to make a small printed edition.
  • On the last day, everyone will assess the produced work.

Julio León Aguilera (Soria, 1950)

Julio León has lived in Mallorca since 1989. He has headed Torculari, a studio in Algaida (Mallorca) specializing in engraving and printing original graphic work and in teaching different intaglio and wood cut printing techniques, since 1991. He has been the curator of exhibitions such as “Etsen in Mallorca” at the Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium, 1996) and “Cobre A2” (Can Gelabert, Mallorca, 2013; Taller Torculari, Algaida, Mallorca, 2013). He has also curated other exhibitions of individual projects by Natalia Martí, Rous Mascaró, Empar Vidal, Carlos Danús, and Eva Murillo at Can Gelabert (Mallorca, 2014) and by Carlos Danús, Natalia Martí, and Eva Murillo at Galería Espacio De Art32 (Pollença, Mallorca).

He was also responsible for curating the exhibitions “Coordenadas”, a joint printmaking project by artists from Torculari studio presented at Can Gelabert (Binissalem, Mallorca, 2015); “Coordenadas II”, a joint printmaking project presented at La Misericordia Cultural Centre in Palma; “Obra gráfica en las Islas Baleares” in Sant Josep, Ibiza; and “Obra gráfica en las Islas Baleares” in Mahon, Mallorca.

He was a master printmaker at the printmaking studios of the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca from 1999 to 2015. He has collaborated and printed editions of work with numerous Spanish and foreign artists, including Joan Barbarà, Wolf Vostell, Rafa Forteza, Mercedes Laguens, Nils Burtwitz, Ellis Jacobson, Eduardo Roca Salazar, “Choco”, Horacio Sapere, Cris Pink, Jonathan Houlding, Fernando Bellver, Rafael Joan, Joan Cortés, Christiane Löhre, Jaume Plensa, Joan Cruspinera, Tolo Seguí, Bombolo, Pep Coll, Rafael Amengual, Ángeles Cereceda, Antoni Miralda, Mónica Fuster, José Manuel Broto, Menéndez Rojas, Ana Laura Aláez, Marcelo Víquez, and Ulysses Beltz. He also tutors artists on a one-to-one basis in graphic and printmaking projects.

He has given workshops as a printmaking teacher at centres in Spain and abroad. These include Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Island Council, Las Palmas;  the Centro Andaluz de Arte Seriado (CAAS), Alcalá la Real, Jaén; the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca; Taller de Grabado Antonio Saura, Fuendetodos, Zaragoza; the Centro Internacional de la Estampa Contemporánea (CIEC), Betanzos, la Coruña; Puertas de Castilla Municipal Centre, Murcia; Casa Falconieri, in Cagliari,  Sardinia, Italy; the Centro de Recursos de Creación Contemporánea (CRCC), Palma; and Tolima State University, Ibagué, Colombia. He regularly teaches different workshops at Torculari Printmaking Studio in Algaida, Mallorca.

Further information