Basics before starting
1. be careful not to touch the front of the paper a lot. the oils in your fingers will stick to the paper, and will catch ink and print.
2. the paper has a front and a back side. The front is the rough side and the back is the glossy smooth side.
3. I am not aware of any way to make corrections for these plates, so what you draw there is permanent. (I'm not vouching for this, but you could maybe try scraping it off with a razor, but that would only work for very small areas.)
To start with my image, I already had a small leftover piece of a larger sheet. I wanted to just draw a small image that was fast and easy to print for the demo purpose. After I figure out my paper size, I place the litho paper face down on my CLEAN drawing surface and draw the outline of my paper on it with sharpie. (This will give you a pretty good registration, but I would not use it for multiple plate registration.) I also drew fainter lines in the middle to show where my image area is going to be. The paper is fairly translucent so the lines will show to the front.
I figured out what I wanted to draw, and sketched it out on a separate piece of paper. After I flip the litho plate face up, and use the sketch underneath as a guide for my drawing (remember no corrections, so plan well). I use a piece of paper to keep my hand directly from touching the plate. Drawing materials can be virtually anything oil base and waterproof. Easy media to start off with are sharpie markers and ballpoint pens. I also had a student who drew his image on the back glossy side of the plate, and we was able to print if off from there as well. Some of his penmarks did come off in the process though.
Below you see the finished drawing executed with ballpoint pen. It has very fine lines which all printed beatifully. You can also see the registration marks showing from the backside of the paper. The drawing is now ready to be printed. Important: when you get ready to print, make sure you have time to print the whole edition all in one day. So far we have not had much luck reprinting the same plate the next day after it has dried in between. If anyone has a good solution to this I would love to hear it.
I took a video of me printing this drawing on the etching press at AASU. This is my first demo video that I ever made so bare with me... If you have anything to add, or questions please comment or leave me an email, and I will try to include all good advice.