Monday, 27 August 2012

Today's etching

This has been quite a leap forward in my printmaking today, making as a print an idea which has been floating around my head. When aquatint etching is done the usual method to block out the tones is with a brush and varnish, but after a quick experiment with a wax crayon I jumped into making a large print (50x34cm) with the same technique.

This is the experiment: Its only 10x15cm and was made for fun.

And then it started me thinking...

Picture 1 shows the simplicity of the tools used- limited varnish on sky and lightest areas (just to make sure they were absolutely white), a wax crayon for the rest of the picture. 

Picture 2- Each stage of tone was masked out with just the crayon, making a nice white image on the plate. The edges are nice and rough, I was expecting some cracking or the wax dropping off at some stage, but it seemed to stick to the zinc well. 

Picture 3- This is the first print, not perfect but gives me a good idea of how it should look. The wax had done exactly what I wanted- creating nice sketchy and rough edged marks. The varnish method of blocking out the acid resist gives a very sharp edge to the tones, but I wanted to break away from that and make a gritty texture to the marks. There is a much more loose and sketchy texture to the marks. 

I'm really looking forward to developing this technique and using it on potraits too. 

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