Mezzotint done properly

‘Stripy Cat, Washing’

I do not claim in any way to be an expert in mezzotint, the title of this post is to contrast with the post coming next, which will be ‘Mezzotint done improperly’. I have two new prints to show you which I did very differently from each other, however you will have to wait for the ‘improper’ one.

This is a print inspired by the many cat drawings I have been posting on my other blog, Cat-of-the-day. A few months ago I posted a series of photos of the last mezzotint print I made – ‘Percy Cat’. There are some explanations in that post, and links to more explanations, so if you’d like the full story of this technique please look back through that post. This post is not about explanations, just a few photos which show you a new picture emerging:

The Sketch
The Sketch
Close-up of the rocked plate
Close-up of the ‘rocked’ plate
Beginning to burnish in the image
Beginning to burnish in the image
Finished burnishing
Finished burnishing
Plate inked and ready to print
Plate inked and ready to print
The moment of truth
The moment of truth
The finished mezzotint print
The finished mezzotint print


  1. amazing stuff nancy. love the cat and following for more art πŸ™‚ x x x

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  2. Absolutely awesome! Great work. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Tom! πŸ™‚

  3. Valerie Evans

    wonderful, fantastic.

  4. This is LUSH! I’m tempted to try mezzotint now I know it can be done on alumnium πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ and yes, do have a go Rosie! I thought alu might be too soft but actually because the spikes of the rocker sink deeper into the metal it probably doesn’t matter that it’s softer. I have worked on pre-rocked copper plates and they were physically harder to burnish but you get a very fine finish – as apparently everything with aluminium it’s all a bit cruder and chunkier, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – after all, we are still handmaking printing plates – there’s a sort of mad crudeness about the whole thing in this digital age! Plus I think it’s good for me because I could get bogged down in fine detail otherwise. Crude in a good way, of course: doesn’t mean the artistic process is crude, just makes us a bit eccentric πŸ˜‰

      1. I like the soft, smudginess that you’re getting with the aluminium plates

        1. Oh yes it is a bit like that… er, I mean, thank you, yes it was all meant to be like that πŸ˜‰ x

  5. […] « Previous / Next » By Nancy Farmer / October 22, 2014 / Cats, Mezzotint / Leave a comment […]

  6. Love it! Love the photo series.

    1. Thank you, Judy! πŸ™‚

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