Two more plates for the Medusa calendar, ‘finished’ and ready to print. Now, I enjoy etching, really I do, it appeals to my little techy brain, and although I usually paint pictures nowadays, a BA in jewellery and an MA in metals conservation in my past do suggest that I have something of an affinity for metals… But here’s the annoying thing: I have done all this work and I have no idea if the actual pictures that I will get to print on Tuesday will be any good at all. That’s the drawback with etching – you get to do all the hard work first, before you know if it’s been any good. So, I am waiting. Humph.
So, the pictures themselves. The top plate in the photo above is ‘Snakes in the Long Grass’ – my picture for the month of July (or possibly June, as both are currently free…). The sketch was in this post. It’s done by etching a deep texture into the plate where the figure and the grass is, and burnishing the surface afterwards to create highlights – the more you burnish, the less ink the plate will hold. The burnished bits become shiny, and I have photographed it at an angle so it catches the light and will give you an impression of what the final print will look like, I hope… It’s kind of a hybrid technique borrowing from Mezzotint, and a similar treatment to Medusa and the Plums – the August picture I did some months back.
The second plate in the photograph is my Scarecrow Medusa. This is more of an experiment than the other one. I had this plate half done for some weeks as I wasn’t sure about how to proceed with it and in the end I have done all of the detail of the corn and Medusa in the field entirely in drypoint. I first had a go at drypoint a couple of weeks ago, so I will make no predictions about how this one will come out, it might all be a mess! In this case, the very shiny parts of the plate are scratched-in lines and will print dark, not light, while the dark parts of the plate are etched surfaces and will print dark, too. Confusing, eh?
Here’s a couple of close-ups:
So, I wait to see the results of my labours….
This leaves only June and February do to complete the calendar: I already have May up my sleeve, which I will show you in due course.