Etching Adventures, Part 6

Welcome back my fellow etching lovers!

Last week, I had put my plate through three rounds of aquatint.

I wasn't satisfied with the result, however, because it I didn't achieve a dark enough value to really make the line etching stand out. After discussing the issue with my teachers and  fellow artists, I decided to put the plate through another round of aquatint.

First, I coated the plate with hard ground again. As I began painting in the tiny, twisting roots for a second time, I found myself asking why I had insisted on drawing so many of them. I knew the extra trouble would be worth it, but I'll admit I often seem to do things the hard way.

At class on Wednesday, I applied another coat of spraypaint:

I decided to put the plate through the bath twice. For the first round, I left it in the acid for three minutes. After I rinsed off the plate, I added some stop out.

One of my classmates likened this to a bloody scab.

I then lowered the plate into the acid bath for a second round. This time, I left it in for five minutes, since I really wanted achieve a darker gray.

After the timer went off, I cleaned off the plate.

After a little trepidation, I inked the plate and tested it out. This is the result:

I have to admit, this is one of the few times I've found myself  really pleased with one of my prints. I'm not pretending it's perfect, but I definitely think it's one of my more evocative pieces. It's unlike anything I've done before, and I really like the contrast between the meticulous line etching on the roots and the more amorphous, grainy tones of the aquatint. I've been exploring contrasts between line and texture, line and color, and other pairings in my prints for over a year now, but I think this is definitely one of the more successful efforts.

There was still some time left in class, so on a whim, I printed another version, mixing red ink with black:

It's not perfect, but I think there's definitely some potential here in terms of color.

Last Wednesday was the final official class, but I definitely plan on continuing my etching explorations. Come back next week and I'll show you some more prints I've been making from this plate.


  1. Beautiful! I love it. You're definitely right about the contrast between the aquatint and the's lovely. :)

  2. I'm glad you like it! I'll be posting some more images of it next week, now that I've had a chance to try out a few different inking approaches.


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