Saturday, December 20, 2008

Etching techniques that I like - PART I

I've found that I love most printmaking techniques that I know but up until recently I felt more drawn to linocut and woodcut printmaking. It may be because I am a graphic designer and these techniques yield a more graphic image than etching and monoprint does. Or it may be the therapeutic way I can "zen out" when I am carving a plate.

Recently, though, I have been doing alot more drawing/sketching by working with line as a reflection of what I am seeing. Since etching lends itself to linework more expressively, I have been doing that almost exclusively and I discovered techniques that yield a unique quality to the print that I had been previously unaware of.

[*Alert* - I'm about to get very technical here so I hope this isn't boring]
The print above was created by first open-biting the plate which creates a bubbled texture on the surface of the plate. I used a litho crayon to draw the image directly onto the plate, without ground, and then open-bit it in acid. Then I created the second state of the plate by adding shadows and midtones with aquatint. The grainy and gradated value of the tones was achieved by a combination of the textured plate from the first state and by using a litho crayon as a block out for the acid during the aquatint biting process.

I like working this way and I plan to create more aquatints with this technique. But since I haven't done a woodcut in a while, I'm itching to go back to that as well. I've got a 3 wood plates just waiting for me to cut into at the studio. Maybe I'll do a 3-plate print since they are all the same size. Eh, we'll see what the muse has in store for me...


ainesse said...

i Spider it's me again - like the idea of using litho crayons on the plate and of initially open biting it.

I am downloading this image and your so called 'boring bit' its exciting to find printmakers talking about their technical approach to a piece of work. I love the quality of the marks that have come out of your experiment.

Have a great Christmas.


spiderink said...

I'm glad you liked the technical stuff. I want to add more of that to my posts.

And I'm getting ready to scan the 3 states for the sugarlift explanation, stay tuned...

and have a very happy holiday!