Silk Aquatint, Part Two

Last week I showed you a new printing plate I'd made using silk aquatint. Today, I'll show you the prints I made with it.

Once you make a silk aquatint, you treat it like you would any intaglio plate; you apply ink, and wipe it off. The more white paint layers you put on the plate, the brighter your highlights will be. Over the course of a few hours, I printed about seven or eight different images, each time changing the way I wiped it in order to see how the plate worked. Half of the prints were done on BFK Rives, the other were done on a new bamboo-based paper I've been testing out. Here they are:

The main things I learned was that you need a lot of white to make your highlights stand out, and that it's very easy to overwipe the plate, allowing the polyester mesh to seep through. Some people may not mind it, but I do, so I was less aggressive with the later images. If I were to use this plate again, I would need to add a lot more white, especially in the background, but I doubt I'll be using it again. Silk aquatint is definitely interesting, and I like the richness of the blacks, but at this point I can't get the same detailed look as I can with etching, so the search continues. I'll probably use the technique again, but for more atmospheric works where detail isn't the priority, or even desirable.

One last unexpected perk: used silk aquatint plates make great stand-alone works.