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Magpie etching

'Magpie' is a limited edition aquatint etching. Printed onto Somerset 250gsm acid free paper, with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink and hand tinted with water colour paint. Signed and numbered on the front. This is a limited edition of 15 prints.

The initial design for this print started out as a pencil drawing in my sketchbook. Before transferring the design to the zinc plate however, I first had to prepare the plate. This involves filing down the edges, polishing, and de-greasing. A thin liquid 'hard ground' is then applied. This protects the plate from the copper sulphate that is used to etch. Once the ground is dry the image is transferred. This acts as a guide for me to gently scratch the image into the ground, exposing the metal.

Once the line is drawn, the plate is placed in a bath of copper sulphate for a few minutes. This etches just the exposed lines. In order to add the aquatint tones, 'stop out' is then used (see the 2nd image below of the blue painted areas). Like the ground before, any areas covered up are stopped from etching. This can be built up in layers to give the different tones.

The plate was printed using black oil based ink on my #2 Gunning Etching Press. Blue/green highlights were later added with water colour paint.

magpie drawing
magpie etching plate
aquatint magpie
magpie etching on press

And here is the finished print. Printed on 250gsm Somerset Satin paper with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink and painted with watercolour.

This is a limited edition of 15 prints.


Actual print size: 18 x 16cm
Paper size: 29 x 25cm

magpie etching
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