View Full Version : A landscape, zinc plate etching.

03-01-2003, 04:02 AM
Zinc plate etching, 8" by 11"

03-01-2003, 01:55 PM
The composition of this landscape is very well thought out. The only thing I see that needs some improvement is a wider range of values. You have the very light area rocks, but the rest of the print is very dark. You may want to go in and burnish out certain areas to lighten them up a bit. This will not only increase your value range, but also give the piece more balance.

What grounds did you use to create this print? I have worked on zinc only once, and then was introduced to copper. I like the copper more, and the zinc chloride is much less toxic than the acid used to bite zinc.

03-01-2003, 04:50 PM
Thank you sassybird for the suggestion, I appreciate critique very much. I am afraid I am very ignorant in printmaking. It is printed over rag paper. I still have to obtain or make the equipment. The acid, I take it like turpentine, you have to have an extractor and an air current :) or use a respirator :)

I wanted to try cooper, but to make like the old prints using the (again, I don't remember the proper name of the things) it leaves a mark like fine lines, used for etching of the human body. It takes a lot of time to make a plate and we have information of many works of art now lost thanks to them.

I hope I made myself understood.

I have never made a lino cut and was wondering how much I would like it.


www.yoyita.com (http://www.yoyita.com)

03-02-2003, 04:14 AM
With copper there are a number of grounds you can use. I like hard ground. This you melt a small amount on the plate and then roll it out while it sits on the hot plate, making sure you cover the whole plate. It is then pulled off the hot plate and you continue to roll the ground, going in all different directions until it begins to feel tacky. Then you let it dry for 20 minutes or so. Once that is done you can take an whistlers needle and draw through the ground, but not scratching the plate. When you are done with your drawing you put the plate in etching acid, ferric chloride, for a few minutes. Ferric is probably the least toxic of all the acids. You don't have to worry about fumes as much, and you can actually dip your hand in without it hurting your skin. One thing that is important is to either paint the back of the plate with some sort of shellac, polyurethene, etc... or what I do is use contact paper. That will stick to the back of the plate without any problem, and it will protect it from the acid.

There is a book called "The Complete Printmaker" You can get this book through Amazon.com, or at any college bookstore that has a printmaking department. It is the bible for printmakers, and gives good explanations of different techniques along with photo's showing how to do things.

03-02-2003, 09:17 AM
The procedure for copper seems to be the same followed with the etched zinc. Just a less powerful abrasive. :)
What I was trying to remember was the name of this tools for drawing over the copper plate, they have many parallel grooves and they rock at the same time that they are marking the copper plate.
Many of the old etching use this techniques, but it seems it takes a fair amount of time to make each drawing. This rockers are used for drawing parallel contour lines. I have seen them in nudes drawings, mythology etc. the lines are used as shadows

OK like the Dore illustrations.

I want to make the roller, to use it too with the bloters and the papers for printmaking and watercolors, and at the same time use them to print. The idea is that it has to have some weight and a seamless and even finish no?

Thank you very much for your indications. What type of container do you need to house the ferric chloride? plastic or glass? I mean the container to etch the plate in. We used a plastic container for the zinc plate. I more or less am used to lab things and experiments because of my background. :)

Yoyita (http://www.yoyita.com)

03-02-2003, 02:01 PM
I use a rectangle plastic container with a lid to keep my etching fluid in. I work fairly small since my press is only 13x24".

The tool you are thinking about is a mezzotint rocker, and they are very expensive, for a 1" witdth, 100 lines per inch they are $56.39, and a 2.5" width, 85 lines per inch they are $139.95. It takes a very long time to rock a mezzotint plate, even a small one. Most people these days use aquatint instead. You used to be able to find machine rocked plates, but they stopped selling them a few years ago. The aqua tint can give you about the same results, takes less time, and is less expensive. To do mezzotint plates you have to have a steady hand, the patiences of a saint, and a really good eye....lol

If you are going to stay with printmaking then it would really be in your best interest to pick up "The Complete Printmaker"