Colour is added to the prints when they have completely dried, using watercolours and inks.
The plate is passed through the press and printed onto dampened watercolour paper, which picks up the ink extremely well to give a good end result.
Following the etching process, ink is applied liberally to the plates to ensure that the channels are filled. Excess ink is then removed using scrim, a coarsely woven fabric similar to cheesecloth.
The ‘ground’ is removed to leave a channel which, after etching with acid, will hold the ink for printing.
The plates are coated in a hard ground and smoked. The smoking process covers the plate with soot, which makes it much easier to spot any unwanted marks on the plate.
Things are going well but I am not achieving the finish I want, perhaps I will have to start from scratch.
I am about to embark on a new body of work, ‘All that I know’. Although that’s slightly misleading, because I have felt this idea wriggling around in my head for quite some time. To be more precise, I think I am about to put pen to paper.
The original drawing ready for transfer to the plate using carbon paper. This needs to be ‘back to front’ in order to print the right way round.
I don’t specifically work at finding new ideas, but I do feel them forming in my mind, and I started thinking about this particular project some considerable time ago. What I am not at all sure about is why now is the right time to make a start.
The traced image, showing areas to be scratched away ready for etching.