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Etching - Soft Ground

[Etching]  [Dry-Point (pointe-seche)]  [Preparing The Plate For Acid]  [Drawing On The Plate]  [Biting The Plate]  [Reworking Ground]  [Soft Ground]  [Aquatint]  [Mezzotint]  [A First Experiment In Etching] 

( Originally Published 1917 )

FOR soft ground etching melt together lard or tallow and an equal amount of etching ground. This is the proportion for cold weather. In warm weather use less, and in hot weather only one-half as much tallow or lard as ground. This ground is to be put on in the usual way, using a separate dabber. The ground is tender and will not bear touching with the hand. Thin-grained paper or tissue paper is placed on a piece of soft blotting paper. Then carefully place the grounded plate face down on the paper and turn up the edges and paste on back. Sometimes the paper is dampened and stretched. You now make your drawing on this paper using an H or F pencil, being careful to support the hand on some kind of rest so that it will not touch the surface of the paper. The pencil is employed as in ordinary drawing, i.e., varying the pressure to get values. But there is not as much difference between pressures as in ordinary drawing. Remove the paper carefully from the plate and you will find that it has picked up the ground wherever you have drawn with the pencil. Bite the plate in the usual way, noting that the biting is somewhat quicker than in ordinary etching. Variety is gotten by using different paper and pencils.

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