As it’s the summer break for the Complete Printmaker course, I’ve been trying to get in more regularly as we have buckets of free studio time included.

After finishing off the screen printing project, I’ve been recovering with something more in my comfort zone: etching. Though I loved the process of etching, I didn’t like my first attempt so I’ve been concentrating more on getting an image I like.

First of all: the Last Retro, inspired by the fact that our all-team “sprint retrospective” meetings sometimes have 13 of us in attendance…

The Last Retro

This is on A4, and I found preparing the wax ground vastly more problematic than A5 previously. As I rolled on, the wax would come off again, leaving too much of the shiny metal exposed. Apparently the issue was that I was leaving the plate to get too hot. With the smaller plate (and during a lesson, with Sean to say “it’s probably hot enough!” at exactly the right time, I hadn’t had this issue…)

Then I reused my original A5 zinc plate, first polishing the other side with Brasso, then degreasing and adding hard ground as usual. The polishing isn’t perfect – Martin Kochany, the technicial at Hot Bed Press calls this the “history” of the plate – but I rather like the marks that reflect the process.

I drew Sasha Velour, the winner of 2017’s Drag Race, after a fantastic photo by Mateus Porto.

Sasha Velour

I made four prints today, with slightly different colours, wiping, and some with extra colour applied with a fine brush.

Sashas Velour

In this variant, I left the clothing underwiped, wiping very carefully around with tissue-paper and cotton bud.

Sasha Velour black wipe

This reflects the colouring of the original source best, without requiring more tone to be etched in with cross-hatching (or sugarlift/aquatint, once we learn those.)