…and finally! After more burnishing the plate of Medusa makes an image like this: (click on the image and you can see a lot more detail)
…at least, it does when I get it right. As I mentioned before not only the making of the plate can be tricky, the inking-up is a disaster-prone process too. Too much ink wiped off and this happens:
…which is really annoying. Especially as it takes a while to do each time, and the plate is wearing out a little bit each time, too. I may be finding there is a finer balance in this aspect with mezzotint than with etching, but, these being my first two attempts at mezzotint, I couldn’t be certain.
Still, I have more ‘pre-rocked’ plates now, ready to experiment with so I can get a bit more practice in. The plates come ready-prepared with the surface roughened (rocked) from http://www.mezzotint.co.uk/ if you are interested – and on that page the little animation there is a traditional hand rocker that makes the roughened surface, though I believe these plates are done with a very cunning machine…
Here is the other print:
And here are the finished copper plates from which I’m printing:
So, end of my first attempts! I have to say I cannot think of another technique that is actually like this in its ability to work from black to white, without cross-hatching (which I hate) and without having to draw or paint in white on top of a black surface (which is usually an unsatisfactory way to go about things, white paper having a luminosity that most white paint doesn’t) so, while it’s admittedly time-consuming I am liking this technique. It has possibilities!