Aquatint etching project. Had fun with this one. :)
Aquatint is not really what I thought it was, but I like it because it introduces tone to the etching process. I thought it would be like a painterly or watery effect ("aqua"-tint). But nope, modern aquatint is spraying the copper plate with spray paint. Maybe I will look up the origins of "aquatint"... must have originally had something to do with water, right?
etching (aquatint & soft ground)
I remembered to take process pics this time. This is the copper plate part-way through the etching process. Aquatint is done at this point, but the background is blank.
Getting the plate ready to put into the acid bath. The background of the print is done with soft ground. I applied the ground, then put saran wrap on my plate and ran it thru the press, so the texture is imprinted into the ground. All the shiny lines that you see is the exposed copper. That is what will etch. The black-ish stuff covering the fish image is hard ground. All of the "grounds" are acid-resistant, so anything I covered with the hard ground (the fish) is protected from the acid when I put the plate in the acid bath. So only the background part of the plate will etch.
I don't know if any of that made sense. It's kinda hard to understand until you see a demonstration. I didn't even understand aquatint the first time around with a demo. :)