A method of creating tonal variation and texture on the plate. The plate is placed in a sealed box (aquatint box) a thin layer of resin particles are deposited on the plate, which is then heated until the resin fuses to the surface. The plate is then placed in the acid, which eats away the metal not covered by the resin, creating channels and small pits. When inked up, and wiped, these depressions retain the ink and print an even tone. The design of the etching is created by “stopping out” with an acid resist varnish or bitumen, and highlights can be created by burnishing the aquatint texture away – the smoother the surface the whiter it prints. It was first used to create an effect similar to a watercolour wash.
When the limited edition has been completed, the plate is either defaced (by drawing diagonals across it, drilling holes in it or stamping it “cancelled”) cut up, perhaps to release and edition a smaller part of it, and that portion being “cancelled” in turn. It is customary to print a “cancellation proof” to reassure collectors that the plate has in fact been “cancelled” thus adding to the scarcity value of the print.
The drawing/scribing of a line onto a metal plate leaving a burr along the incised line, producing a rich feathery line when printed. No acid is used. As the burr runs through the press it wears down, hence the practice of collectors wanting the lowest numbers in an edition where drypoint is used.
A practice that emerges during the 19th century of limiting the supply of a print. A print would be published in an edition of, say, fifty with the guarantee that the plate would be changed (i.e. another state), cut up, or cancelled afterwards. Thus protecting the scarcity value of the print.
Lines bitten into a metal plate using acid. The metal plate is given a coating of waxy acid resist. Lines are scribed through this acid resist coating exposing the raw metal (usually copper plate), which is then submerged in a bath of acid (usually Ferric Chloride). The longer the plate is in the acid, the deeper the bite and darker the line when printed. Various parts of the design can be bitten to varying depths by removing the plate from the acid, “stopping out” (covering finished areas of the plate with acid resist) and re-biting in the acid bath. “Open bite” is the result of painting with acid using a feather. “Foul bite” occurs when the acid begins to permeate through the acid resist creating spots or the directional textures of the acid resist – this is often done on purpose as a controlled effect by the artist to emphasise the eroding nature of the process.
A class of metal plate printing processes where ink is pulled/printed out of grooves made in a plate. It includes the techniques of etching, aquatint, mezzotint, drypoint and engraving. Printing is achieved by placing a dampened sheet of paper over the plate and running it, under pressure, through a printing press, thus releasing the image onto paper. An identifying characteristic of the Intaglio process is the indentation of the plate in the paper.
Based on the chemical fact that oil and water repel each other. Marks are made onto a suitable printing surface (usually limestone or grained metal plates) using greasy crayon. The surface is dampened with water which is repelled by the greasy drawing medium. A roller with greasy printing ink is rolled over the surface, the ink only adhering to the greasy marks and repelled by the water. This is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by running both printing surface and paper through a scraper press. Colour lithography uses a number of plates or stones, one for each colour.
An intaglio process that works from dark to light by burnishing or scraping a plate that has been specially prepared or “grounded”, that is, systematically worked over with a spiked tool called a Mezzotint Rocker until it is evenly roughened. If printed in this grounded state it would print a rich dense black. The more the plate is burnished the further it moves away from black, through a range of mid-tones, to white. No acid is used.
An image produced from a stone, plate, block or such-like that has been directly worked on by an artist. It is the visual expression of an idea where the artist chooses a printmaking process as the best expression of that idea as opposed to other fine art processes such as painting, sculpture, pastel etc. Such a choice does not differ from the choice to work in oil or another medium. The only difference being the possibility of producing a number of identical images, with each impression being an original work of art by the artist.
Commonly referred to as Serigraphy. It is a medium, which involves transferring an image onto a mesh screen and blocking out surrounding areas. The screen is a gauzy fabric stretched taut on a wooden or metal frame and ink is drawn across the screen with a squeegee. The ink will go through the open areas on the screen, onto the paper underneath. The artist can build up an image rather like using oil paints on canvas, one screen being required for each colour.
A process of cutting away from a flat surface (usually a block of wood or lino) areas that are meant not to print. One of the oldest forms of printmaking, and is the reverse of Intaglio printing (etching and drypoint). Ink is rolled on the raised surface and transferred to paper under pressure, either by hand rubbing or by using a printing press.
An impression outside the edition, usually pulled during the process of working a plate. Types of proofs include:
A process patented in 1857 whereby a thin layer of iron is deposited by electrolysis on copper plates to prevent them wearing. This revolutionised the printing industry by preventing deterioration of the image caused by successive runs through the press. PJPA chromium faces most of it's plates for the same reason, it also makes them easier to hand wipe.
The artist brushes the design onto a plate with a water-based solution of sugar, gum Arabic and gamboge. This is covered with acid resist, let dry, and placed in a bath of warm water. As the sugar swells it lifts through the acid resist exposing the design on the raw copper plate. This is aquatinted in the normal way and printed as a positive tone.
This is one of the oldest of painting techniques, and is loosely used to describe a mix of pigment bound with gum Arabic and “tempered” with egg. The process was first described by Cennini in the 15th century as a painting medium that was usually used on wood panels. In the modern age it is sometimes used as underpainting.
Paintings, drawing and Sculpture: