Tuesday, 24 January 2012

It's all in the wiping

The background aquatint is done. It’s a bit darker than I’d planned so the text is hard to read (more so on this scanned version) but I don’t think I mind that. I warmed the plate for the final wiping of the central figure for greater contrast but left the plate cold for the background. Tried wiping it warm to make it a bit lighter but it didn’t look right.

I think this image is finished but I’m not quite sure… I’ll put it away for a few days and come back to it with fresh eyes (hopefully). In the meantime, I’ll consider what Captain PB’s up to next.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

out, out towards the horizon

Finally finished working the text onto the plate; must have taken five hours just to do that bit. The text is just nonsense really. I didn’t want it to say anything specific but to suggest a sense of travelling.

This afternoon I put an aquatint on the plate to darken the area around the figure so that the text recedes a bit. There’ll be a bit of trial and error here to get the tone right; I want the background to be dark enough to bring out the figure without losing the text.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Working away on the text this weekend. It’s intricate and slow-going but with a bit of John Dowland on the old ipod, I’ve been able to get into that zen-like state where there’s nothing but the line you’re making - it takes as long as it takes. Hoping to get the majority of the text finished today so I can etch next week. My plan is then to aquatint over the text so that it sinks into the background. I have a mental image of how it will look but part of the magic of printmaking is that quite often, things turn out differently to how you imagine.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

You can’t keep an old etcher down

After a hiatus of about six months, it’s good to be etching again. I started this image as a wood engraving but the call of the aquatint was too strong, so here he is on a 20 x 30 cm zinc plate. I’m trying to work more quickly and haphazardly, not so meticulously with this one so we’ll see how that approach goes; I’m pleased with how he’s coming along so far though. Working on some text to go with the image now.

Whilst I was at it, I mixed up a new batch of copper sulphate solution – quite a pleasing New Year ritual. The vibrant blue of the copper sulphate crystals and the way they turn green and yellow when mixed with salt and hot water, then back to a blue solution made me think of Spring. Not that I’m wishing my life away, but the days are getting longer now…