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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Etching - Aquatint

[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 )

In aquatint, spaces are bitten instead of lines. It is best to etch lightly the construction lines first. The plate is then thoroughly cleaned and dusted all over evenly with powdered asphaltum placed in a muslin bag. Strike the hand containing the bag against a ruler. When completely dusted warm the plate moderately until there is a change in colour. Use stopping-out varnish and acid in the usual way. Paton recommends a bottomless box with a piece of fine muslin stretched over it. Place fine white resin on this, putting box over the plate on a table. Strike the box and the resin will sift evenly over the plate. There are other methods of getting a tint on a plate,-for instance, running a plate with an ordinary ground on it and covered with a piece of cloth through an etching press. Sandpaper is sometimes used in the same way. Salt sprinkled on a heated plate covered with etching ground is also used. The print from an aquatint is not unlike a wash drawing.

Spirit Ground.-Fill a bottle one-third full with powdered resin, and fill up with rectified spirits of wine. Be sure it is all dissolved before using. Pour over the plate and let it run evenly all over. Let the plate dry and bite as usual. In the resin and spirit methods, the acid bites the spaces around the particles of resin. In the cloth, salt and sandpaper methods, the dots made by these materials bite. To get a variety of tone in a sky, put the upper edge in the bath first, and gradually lower until all the plate is in the bath. This will make the top of the sky darker.

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