Dog etchings by Blair


Boston Brahmin

The images you see on this site are all etchings.   Briefly, etching is a printmaking technique where line is etched into a metal plate (I use zinc).   First  the zinc plate is coated with an acid-resist waxy substance called Hard Ground.  Then, using an etching needle to engrave, a sketch is made into the coating to reveal the zinc plate below.  The plate is then placed into an acid bath.  The acid etches into the zinc where the sketch has left the plate exposed.  When my etching process is complete, I clean the Hard Ground off the plate.  From a test print at this stage I can see where I want to make changes or add shading (at this point the etching will be strictly linear).  In order to achieve the shading I use a technique called aquatint.  For me, (there are other ways to achieve the aquatint effect) I use spray paint.  After blocking out areas (with Hard Ground) where I do NOT want shading, I spray a very light spotty coating of black enamel paint over the plate.  The plate is then returned to the acid bath.  The longer the plate stays in the acid the blacker the aquatint will be.   As you can see from the print on this page, its plate had large areas of heavy aquatint (deep black), as well as very subtle ones (pale grays).

I hope you enjoy this work.