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annie_s
03-03-2017, 04:53 AM
Hello all, I'm new to the site. I have a question about aquatint.

I have a plate which has already been etched using soft ground but I really wanted to aquatint it.

I don't need to add any more lines or marks to my plate, I just want to add tone, while leaving some areas white.

My tutor told me that you can't do this with soft ground (which I hadn't realised, or I would have used hard ground.)

It has now been cleaned and degreased.
Can I just prepare the same plate for an aquatint now (ie clean, degrease, stop out areas, melt on rosin then etch in acid?)
Am I right in thinking I don't need to add any more ground but can just apply aquatint as required?

Sorry if this is has been answered elsewhere. I've looked at lots of websites and can't find the answer. And the workshop is particularly busy
so it's hard to grab the tutor to ask questions!

Jeffro Jones
03-07-2017, 04:35 AM
My tutor told me that you can't do this with soft groundI don't see why not.

It has now been cleaned and degreased.
Can I just prepare the same plate for an aquatint now (ie clean, degrease, stop out areas, melt on rosin then etch in acid?)

Am I right in thinking I don't need to add any more ground but can just apply aquatint as required?

After applying the aquatint you have to stop out the areas you don't want toned. If you want more tone in some places, you have to remove the plate from the acid, stop out the lighter areas, then put the plate back in the acid to continue etching for the darker tones.


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contumacious
03-07-2017, 04:55 PM
There is nothing wrong with starting with a soft ground then doing an aquatint. That is usually how I work, hard or soft ground first, then aquatint. As long as the image from the soft ground pleases you but you want more tones on the plate, go right ahead and put an aquatint on there as Jeffro has already said.

If there are areas that are "perfect" as is then be sure to stop them out before you etch the aquatint. An aquatint may not last as long as your hard or soft ground so keep an eye on it. If it starts to float off you will end up with an open bite instead of the look of an aquatint.

You can repeat the process as needed with new aquatints until you are happy with the results. If you can post a before and after image that would be wonderful!

winking cat press
03-08-2017, 12:21 PM
yep.... what they said above is correct. Just make sure that all of the areas where you don't want tone are re-covered with your soft ground.

annie_s
03-09-2017, 07:03 AM
Many thanks for your helpful, clear replies.

(I was puzzled too, but as I hadn't been in a studio for a while and was pretty rusty, I took his word for it!)

annie_s
03-09-2017, 07:16 AM
Contumacious, sorry just saw your comment about posting photos before and after. I forgot to take a photo last week, but will try and post one next week (which is the last workshop)

Jeffro Jones
03-10-2017, 05:30 AM
My tutor told me that you can't do this with soft ground
Well, your tutor may have been distracted, who can tell :)

Also, printmakers can get very "thingy" about their techniques, and the "soft ground crew" have their own way of doing things. They may think adding aquatint to soft ground is not the purist way. I remember working with soft ground designs for a while, and it was a "given" that we got all our tones with soft ground techniques, not aquatints. These days I'm not fussed :)


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