Friday, June 25, 2010

Started Etching

 EDIT: The Etching plate after a "clean wipe" of ink

So, I started my Etching (Printmaking) class and I'm having a blast. It's completely different (yet the same) compared to Silkscreen. I wanted to take this class because I was curious of how old, fantasy master drawings were made.

EDIT: This is what the plate looks like once I etched with a quick drawing.
I had to put a substance (hard ground) on a metallic plate and then etch/ draw on it after it dried. Almost, like a scratchboard. This process was a little iffy because you could not erase anything once it's etched on the ground on the plate... so all the mistakes could not be "digitally" fixed. Usually in Silkscreen, I prepare the image digitally before burning it into the screen. Anyways, after the etching is complete the metallic plate needs to go on acidic water so that the etching on the hard ground on top of the plate gets burned into the plate.

The first print... I didn't wipe away as much ink.

Then, after cleaning it it's ready to print! The thing with Etching, though, is that you can technically only good print at a time. You have to wipe ink at your plate each time. If you don't wipe ink and simply printed again- you're left with a "ghost print". Which can't always be bad. That's way every Etching print will more than likely look different each time.

The "ghost print"... this is way ink needs to be put on the plate after each printing.

While very interesting, Etching does have a few cons compared to Silkscreen-- introducing color isn't always very possible as the color is usually spread into the plate. Also, you have to wet and blot the paper before each printing.

 Attempt on color didn't work out as well...

Trying to put color needs to be very careful. I tried using cotton buds to put some blue on the eyes and ended up wiping off the color on the outline.

 The 2nd print after adding more lines/ hatching into the plate.

Pros- it takes fine lines really well. When I did fine lines with Silkscreen, it didn't print out as well. Also, you can keep adding into the plate. If you put hard ground again, you can re-etch more stuff in it and then print.

The 2nd "ghost print" from the revised plate.

Since I came to the class without any idea of what would looked good as etching, I had to quickly sketch this out. Which didn't exactly come out as great as I would like it to be. The nose was a bit big for the face. The lips are awkward. I went overboard on the hair and the size of the plat threw me off on the proportions of the upper body and neck. Yeah, I'm a little self-critical. But again these are things that I learn NOT to do on the next Etching project.