08 April 2008

prussian blue...

...is a softer more appreciative colour to print with when printing a plate for the first time. well that is what i think anyway. everything seems to look better when it ain't in black or forced to have a black outline. i took my favourite doodle and decided to etch it onto a copper plate i had prepared earlier like they do in blue peter. i wasn't worried too much about the outcome. i decided to do an etch and made myself make snap decisions about what i was doing and thinking throughout the process. for example i started to wander and was tempted to etch something else but i told myself no and to be brave and to brew up at regular intervals. so first off i have etched into a hard ground. i blocked out some of the little mistakes i had done-not mistakes as such-it is just the hard ground has a tendency to etch away in bigger flakes sometimes and so i am able to paint it out to stop and protect it from the biting ways of the Edinburgh etch. then i dunked it in said etch solution for about three hours. the plate has to be rotated half way through the time or on a regular basis to make sure it etches even. it would do this by itself if there was a pump in there moving the solution all around but there isn't. above is the second print i did from the plate. it is a bit cloudy as i was having a war with the tissue you use to softly rub away the excess ink prior to printing. i am very pleased with the outcome though except that i forgot to reverse the image prior to etching as i would have preferred him to be facing right but never mind. tomorrow i think i may attempt an aquatint as i have never ever never done this before and maybe some soft ground as well. both of these processes may be carried out on the robber bird plate. these processes as per the dissertation is one way in which they used to mass produce books and within them reproduce illustrations in the oldie worlde days. aquatint and soft ground are and were alternate methods for adding detail as say just printing a harsh and very definite line. you can add depth, detail, line and tone if you wish by using various different etching techniques and methods.

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