Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Intaglio puzzles

 There is only one week left of my print-making class, and then maybe one week after that that I can still use the studio, so I had better make the best use of my time.  What's different about doing intaglio this time is that I figured out a whole lot of stuff when I took the 8-week class last time that I can basically just get right down to the business of making images, and I must say that drawing on the hard ground is really really pleasing.
All of these are from reference photos I took myself, and all of these I drew straight onto the plate, and I must say that I really like this little portrait of David.  I'm not done with it, though I'm not sure what else I'm going to do.  I'll probably give one of these proofs to David.  That's what I decided to do for all the people whose photos I've used--give them a print! (And hope that they're not mad that I used their image!).   This one actually looks a lot like him.  You can probably tell that he is a gentle soul.

Now here's the mystery:  I left this one in the acid for 51 minutes (as opposed to the 30 minutes for the portrait of David, which I thought could have been etched for a little longer), and instead of delicate lines (like I'd drawn on the plate), they were big coarse lines (and all the hard ground between the closely hatched lines had been eaten away).  I thought it would print really dark, but as you can see, it didn't.  Why not?  Did it wipe it too much?  Are the lines broad, but not deep?  Had the paper not soaked long enough?(it seems there was a lot of ink still left on the plate, and it LOOKED a lot darker than the David print after I wiped it.) And what do I do to MAKE them dark?  I should probably try printing it again, and see what soaking the paper longer, and wiping less aggressively does.  I bet it was the paper.  I only soaked it for the time I was wiping the plate, and the wiping went really fast.  The paper for the image below had been soaking a long time, and that plate looked like it had hardly any ink on it at all after I wiped it, and look how dark that turned out.  
So this is the second stage for the bass woman.  I added more etched lines (not that you can tell in this little format).  The scan isn't so great because the print isn't flat since I propped it up next to the previous stage while it was still wet.


  1. WOW, T, that second one. Just **wow**, it is beautiful. They all are, as usual, but man, that could be Rembrandt. (Can I do the Tumblr thing again?)

  2. STunning!! Really beautiful. You are a great artist!
    xxx Marianne

  3. Yes, that would be fine to do the Tumblr thing. The middle one is my least favorite, though. The guy's forehead is too small, and the darks aren't nearly dark enough....

  4. but he's got such a great expression!

  5. yes, it's a mystery why the print turned out so light after leaving for twice the normal time. You may have hit on the answer...the dampness of the paper. I guess you can try another print with slightly damp paper to determine if that made the difference. Regardless, these are skilled pieces.