First etch: crow head plate

First etch: Crow Heads by H. L. Birdsong

Well, I finally got my butt over to the IPRC to sign up for a “Recession Special” 3-month membership, so that I can start learning how to make books. That sums up my accomplishments for the day.

I pulled a couple of proofs from the “mysterious skull” print, but struggled with it. I think I had too much gel in the ink; it was slippery and seemed too transparent. It overwiped too easily. Usually I print with Gamblin bone black, but thought I’d use some Charbonnel today. I’d had some trouble with that particular ink being a little too sticky on the clean parts of the plate, so I added some gel – too much. I’ll try again tomorrow.  I burnished out part of the sky, to give it some clouds and lighten the horizon a bit.  I also drew more detail into the hair and jeans, though I think that might have been a mistake, for the hair at least.  Some scraping and burnishing might be in order there.

The picture here, the “First etch: Crow Heads”, I pulled a couple of days ago. The drawing looks so nice that I’m afraid to keep going with it. Perhaps that attitude caused a hiccup in my usual operations, because I had a hell of a time with the aquatint. I accidentally bumped the plate after coating it with rosin, so I had to clean it off and start over. Then, once I got the powder on there evenly, the melting didn’t go so well. I over-melted in one corner and under-melted in another. Argh. I washed that off too and will try again tomorrow.

Some days just do not work out.


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