Process: What is Intaglio?
Intaglio is a printmaking method which involves the creation of an image by carving below the surface of the matrix. Etching is a specific intaglio method which uses acid as the means of carving the image onto a zinc or copper plate. First, the printmaker covers the plate in a waxy, acid-resistant ground. The image is made by drawing into the ground with a sharp tool called a stylus, exposing the bare metal. The prepared plate is then bathed in acid which bites into the metal, creating grooves on the plate. Once the plate is etched, the ground is removed, and the plate is ready for printing. The printmaker wipes the ink into the etched grooves, allowing the printed image to be seen. Damp paper is laid on the plate and the two are run through a printing press. The pressure of the press pulls the ink up from the grooves and onto the paper, creating the printed image.
Process: What is Aquatint?
An aquatint begins a flat piece of metal, either copper or zinc plate. An artist can sprinkle powdered resin directly to the surface of the plate. The plate is then heated; if the plate i s covered with powder, the resin melts forming a fine and even coat. Now the plate is dipped in acid (a liquid that chemically changes the surface of the plate), producing an even and fine level of corrosion (the "bite") sufficient to hold ink. At some point the artist will then etch an outline of any aspects of the drawing he or she wishes to establish with line; this provides the basis and guide for his later tone work. The artist then begins immersing the plate in the acid bath, progressively stopping out (protecting from acid) .any areas that have achieved the designed tone. These tones, combined with the limited line elements, give aquatints a distinctive, watery look.