The Process of Etching

For anyone who is interested I thought I might create a series showing how I developed my image Mother_.
The First Stage of etching was to cover my plate with Hardground, from here I draw the lines into the hardground leaving the plate underneath exposed.
Place the plate in the acid, taking care to remove any bubbles with a feather. The length of time you leave it in the acid depends on the strength of the acid, room temperature and the depth of line you wish to create.
Here is the result or 1st State of my design.

For the second stage of this plate I choose to use a softground. Soft ground enables you to produce textures, and the lines drawn into the plate are softer in appearance. I place different textures onto my plate ( alfoil, onion bag, netting etc) and ran it through the press, leaving an imprint in the soft ground. Once again place it in the acid, however if you want some areas to remain white (unbitten) cover them up with a liquid bitamen, as I have done in areas of my plate.
Here is the result or the 2nd State of my design.

The next stage is aquatint. A fine layer of airbourne resin settles onto the plate which is carefully melted onto the plate. It is now a process of covering up your plate with liquid bitamen in stages. The first bite (plate placed in acid) will leave the area covered with bitamen as a highlight, the next bite will be slightly darker, etc creating tone on your plate.
Here is the result or 3rd State.

Here you see I’ve used two different colours when I inked up my plate, you can also apply a roll up of relief ink (as used in linocut and woodcut printing techniques), the result is shown below.

Another technique can also be used called deep bite. This is achieved by once again painting out choosen areas with bitamen and placing the plate back in the acid for a much greater time. This give a random result creating a some what abstract result.
This is the result or 4th State.
What more could you do to the plate you ask…… well chop it up of course!
Unfortunately I don’t have any of those prints left, and they were my favourites and added to the theme of seperation of the image that I was trying to convey, but hey at least they are hanging on someones wall!

The Process of Etching

Marilyn Brown

Joined May 2007

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 4

Artist's Description

Etching, an outline of the process.

Artwork Comments

  • xssif
  • Martin Derksema
  • MaryO
  • Karin Taylor
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