'Swirl' is a limited edition aquatint etching of an otter. Printed onto Fabriano Rosaspina 285gsm acid free paper, with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink. This is lovely off white/subtle cream heavy weight paper. There are two versions of this print available, one with an added water colour wash. Signed and numbered on the front. This is a limited edition of 8 prints for each version.
The initial design for this print started out as a pencil drawing in my sketchbook. Before transferring the design to the aluminium 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). Like the ground before, any areas covered up are stopped from etching. You can see how I used this technique to add the bubbles into the water. This process builds up in layers to give the different tones.
The plate was printed using black oil based ink on my Gunning Etching Press. You can see a short process video below.
And here is the finished print. Printed onto Fabriano Rosaspina 285gsm acid free paper with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink and painted with watercolour.
This is a limited edition of 16 prints (8 of each version).
Actual print size: 25 x 30cm approx
Paper size: 35 x 39cm approx