Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finals Results from Test Spray Last Night

Today I etched the plate that I sprayed last night and then printed it, with this result.
Well, it's not exactly what I hoped for -no nice smooth tones - so I'm back to problem-solving! :(
Next step - consider if the material that I spray on the plates is malfunctioning. Sigh....printmaking...why do I do it?? Probably because there is a lot of satisfaction when things go right!

My friend and teacher George Tussing would say "Whatever you do, you're learning and that's a great thing!"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Aquatinting with Zacryl Hardground

When I do etchings, I also like to put some nice tones on my plates so I aquatint them. But since it's been awhile (not too long!), I have been making some test plates so that I can adjust my airbrush just right to get the tones I want. It hasn't been easy! I'm now on my third try (or maybe fourth - I don't want to count!) I think my airbrush is just being persnickety! It couldn't be me. :)

Here are a few pictures to show a little bit of the aquatint process that I use:

There is my little air compressor (used for decorating cakes but is very handy for spraying plates to get aquatints). I fill the little bottle with Zacryl non-toxic acrylic hardground.
Then I set up my easel and put up my old drawing board and cover it with white paper. After that, I put tape on the back of my plate and attach it to the board. Sorry, no picture for that but I was in a hurry and forgot. It was starting to rain AND the light was fading! You see I have to do this outside.
Then I spray my plate with the aquatint solution. This time I tried for a finer spray and more of it!
After I removed my plate, I could see better how much I sprayed. It was definitely more than last time. We will see tomorow when I etch and print the plate! The etchant will bite around all the little dots I sprayed on the plate and will print as tone. Stay tuned!
(I hope this makes sense)

Plate gets attached to board. Forgot picture!

After spraying plate

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jersey Boys

Last Thursday night, I went to see the musical "Jersey Boys" and it was one of the best shows I have ever seen! Lots of old songs from the 60's by the Four Seasons, an extremely popular band at the time. It was the story about how they became a band and how it all worked out. Everything is great about this show - the acting, the sets, the story ...the music! I think anyone would enjoy it. Here's one of the songs (Walk Like a Man) , if you'd like to hear it:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Aquatint struggles

I love etchings but when I attempt to add tones with aquatint, it's always a challenge! I usually use an airbrush to spray a liquid acrylic hardground on the plate after I do some line etching and then use an acrylic stop-out solution to block out lighter tones as I progress through the etching process. Well!!....sometimes it works very well and sometimes it's takes a lot more effort to get it just the way I want it. I need a little more space in my studio than I have to do the spraying process so I have to do it outside at my house which means a lot of running around to get all the needed supplies in the appropriate location. Makes me a little crazy! Especially if the wind is blowing or it's raining!
With the airbrush, you  spray little acrylic dots on the copper plate and then when you place the plate in the etching solution, the solution etches the spaces between the dots and an area of nice solid tone is created - you hope! Actually, you may not care if you create a nice solid tone. Maybe you want it to be depends on the effect you want. Really, the effects you can get by varying one thing or the other is all quite fascinating!

I've been working on this plate and as you can see, the aquatint process did not give me some even tones. (Maybe I placed it in the etching solution too long...) In some areas I may decide to keep it that way, but I know I want to re-do the aquatint process in other areas.
Here's the result of my efforts so far:

There is much more work to be done!

plate inked up

first printing