Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Swan - hand tinted Solar plate etching

I am in the process of creating a series of small miniature studies from left over ends of a larger piece of solar plate. Here is one of the first to emerge from the studio yesterday.
The swan study is from a plate (5 x 5 cm or 2 x 2 inches sq.). Here in the photo it is set into a 15 x 15 cm sq. mat (6 x 6 inches).
I scan the artwork and then using the inkjet printer print the artwork as grayscale onto a specially coated clear plastic transparency page. The plate was exposed to an artificial lightsource (UV emitting blacklight) in a homemade exposure unit. A double exposure method was used. The positive was set on top of the plate and a piece of glass clamped over top. First a fine dot aquatint screen exposure was made (1.5 min) which was then followed by the positive (3 min). The plate was developed in lukewarm water by scrubbing with a soft bristle toothbrush.
Subtle lines were added into the polymer plate surface using a drypoint needle to add a little definition into the bird. Then Graphic Chemical Intense black ink (modified with a little Easy Wipe compound) was applied to the plate and wiped using tartalan cloth followed with a surface wipe using yellow pages from an old phone book .
These were printed onto Magnani Revere 250 gsm suede white rag paper. The paper was soaked in water first for maybe 5 min and then blotted between white cotton towel with MDF board set on top.
Once the inked plate and paper pass under the roller of the my etching press I taped down each print onto a piece of plywood with butchers tape and set aside to dry.
A bit later using Daniel Smith and Fragonard watercolour I applied the colour tint into the water and the swans bill.
I apologize for the visible watermark in the print, this is just for copyright protection while the image is displayed online when a right click disable option is not available.