Part 1: Two colour etching workshop

With Basil Hall

This 2 day workshop was an eye-opener for sure.  The aim was to produce 2 etched plates, with a variety of tones, to layer together to create a coloured print.

No ideas for designs were suggested beforehand and all materials were supplied.  So I went along in what I would consider an ‘unprepared’ state.  I usually like to have at least some preliminary ideas, sketches or a theme in mind but not this time as I really didn’t know what we would be doing.

With multiple technique choices and unable to incorporate everything discussed I decided to go with a soft ground over a zinc plate and a random design.

Circus, drawn on tissue with shading added later

The plate supplied is not one I’ve seen before and had a photo gravure surface which could be used for photo transfer or hardened for hard ground etching.  In my case, this surface was cleaned away and a soft ground was applied which I then worked into.  The second plate supplied had already been fully aquatinted.

Over the course of 2 days multiple etchings were made by timing the seconds or minutes the plates sat in the acid solution, and aquatint was applied to sections of the first plate.  Between etching times the plates were dried and a resist was painted on to different sections of the plates stopping further etching of those areas.  In this manner varying levels of etching were achieved, thereby creating tonal differences.

That’s the overall concept.  However, after I had the initial image etched onto my first plate I took a black proof print and, using coloured pencils, shaded the areas where I hoped to add colour as I moved through the process.

Circus, print proof, black oil-based ink with coloured pencil

Literally 5 minutes before the end of the course I managed to have both plates ready, inked and with paper and registration in place, so I got my first print.

Circus, first colour proof

Excellent start and I look forward to 2 more days with Basil next week.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Part 1: Two colour etching workshop

  1. Pingback: Part 2: Etching with Basil Hall | TactualTextiles

  2. Pingback: Part 2: Two colour etching | TactualTextiles

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