Thursday, 18 March 2010

An experiment in burnishing

I’ve always wanted to have a go at mezzotinting; I love the soft, velvety quality which can be quite ethereal at times. I don’t fancy rocking my own plates though and my burnishing skills need improving so, for practice, I’ve aquatinted a plate and bitten it all over. This gave me a grey surface to start with and allowed me to burnish the image up.

A recent life drawing gave me a fairly simple form to start off with as I didn’t want to do anything too detailed (hence the headless torso!). It’s quite hard to see what you’re doing actually; I don’t know whether it’s easier on a mezzotint but it’s a bit trial and error on my aquatinted plate.

I don’t think I left the plate in the etch long enough though – I’d like to try again and bite it darker next time so I can get a better range of tone. I shall continue to tinker with this plate, maybe bite it again. That’s the great thing about etching, you can keep reworking the plate. Etching rocks.

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