Drawing Materials and Drawing Techniques-an Introduction by Michael Miller
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Counterproof, or Offset  
In this case the artist transferred his drawing not through the paper, but directly from its surface to make a reversed impression of it. If moistened, drawings in black or especially red chalk will produce an image on another sheet of paper under strong pressure in a printing press. This impression will be fainter than the original and lack its nuances. The reversed image was especially useful to printmakers, who had to reverse their compositions on the printing plate. In the eighteenth century artists used offsets to make multiples of their work, which they subsequently reinforced, to make them look like original drawings. They might also work up variants from the original design, either in chalk or in other media, in ink or wash, for example. Hubert Robert and Fragonard often resorted to this practice. The process was not ignored by forgers for their own nefarious purposes. counterproof
 
   
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