Printmaking Process 2

Hi, back again. I decided to really go for it and work on a large scale for this print. I commited to an 18" x 24" zinc etching plate. I worked my sketch ideas up into this full size pencil rendering and decided to keep it fairly loose so I could save some spontaneity for the etching. Once I was satisfied with my drawing it was time to get started. I bought a plate from the local art store and rolled up my sleeves. Printmaking is a physical process. the first thing I needed to do was to bevel the edges and round the corners with a file, this prevents the plate from cutting through the press blankets and paper you are printing. Once the plate is filed the next step is to degrease the print surface, this ensures the proper bond of the Hard Ground (a mixture of asphaltum and beeswax which your image is drawn into and is the resist during the acid etching process).

Once the plate was prepped it was time to transfer the image. One important thing I forgot to mention about Printmaking is that when you are working on your plate everything is worked up in reverse. I redrew the image on tracing paper flipped it over and redrew it again with a red ball point pen (so I could keep track of my lines) over graphite coated transfer paper. Once the image was transfered to the plate I used my etching needle to redraw the image into the Hard Ground. The 2 etching needles I bought for $10-$20 a piece were not working out that well, the point seemed to get hung up as I was drawing and would not provide a continuous line, so I purchased a few cheap ball tipped stylus tools used for clay sculpting and ceramics and they worked great, it was like writing with a ball point pen.I will show one of the first proof's I pulled next week. While doing some research for the illustration I came across this cool book.This book shows the Dürer rhino in art from 1515-1799 as interpreted by various artists. Obviously photos of a rhino did not exist yet and I do not think that there were city zoo's around for people to visit, so everyone used this image as a reference when using a rhino in their artwork. What I did not know was that Dürer might not have been the first artist to interpret the creature. There is evidence that he that he never saw a living rhino and based his famous work on other drawings, anyway the book is fascinating if you are interested in this sort of thing. I will be back with more next week, see you then.