Aquatint

The aquatint process consists of painting on a metal plate with a diluted solution of nitric acid, using a transfer of a drawing as guidance.

The acid ‘bites’ the plate making the surface rough. Longer exposures or stronger concentrations will produce more biting and a rougher surface (if left too long the acid will bite too much and make the surface smooth again)

This is the drawing I used. I transferred the main outline onto a metal plate

I used varnish to protect the lighter areas on the background before painting the main details with acid.

I applied ink to the plate and wiped out the bulk of it (the ink remaining in the grooves will show when pressing a paper onto it). 

The resulting prints show different degrees of wiping, producing a lighter print above and a darker, more dramatic image, below.

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