Having completed the plate, the artist will then experiment with the inking up and printing of the image until completely satisfied by the result. This first perfect proof is marked A/P, artist's proof or e/a, épreuve d'artiste and is used as a reference to which the rest of the edition is matched. There are usually one or two artist's proofs, in addition to the numbered prints in any edition, and when a print is highly sought after, a good-condition artist's proof may be the most valuable print in the edition.
The invention of aquatint meant that broad areas of tone could be achieved by anyone in less than an hour, as opposed to the days required by master craftsmen to engrave a similar effect. Artists such as Thomas Rowlandson (1756 - 1827) abandoned engraving for this new technology. Ease and speed of production led naturally to more spontaneous images and, importantly, to more frivolous subject matter. More risks were taken and social commentary, caricature and satire began to flourish. A fine dusting of resin granules is bonded to the metal printing plate using heat. The plate is then etched in acid, giving a rough texture made up of the acid-bitten pits in the surface and the raised dots, which were protected from the acid by the resin. This rough surface holds ink so that broad areas of tone can be achieved. Aquatint is very adaptable, but it particularly lends itself to dramatic chiaroscuro and wonderfully
Check out: Mary Farl Powers, Goya, Colin Martin,
Rembrandt, Vincent Sheridan.
Tiny grains of silicon carbide are mixed with PVA glue. The texture of this mixture is such that it can then be brushed onto the plate in a very free way, and will even retain the characteristic marks of the brush as it dries. Once dry, this rough surface will hold ink in a similar way to aquatint. This medium has the advantage of being less toxic than aquatint, and unlike aquatint it needs no complicated equipment so the plate can be worked away from the printmaking studio.
Check out: Margaret McLoughlin, Louise Meade, John
Meaning glued tissue in french, this refers to the addition of an extra layer of lightweight paper to the main paper support. It is often used to add colour to a print, or to show finer details that the heavier support paper may not pick up. This method is popular in Europe and the West because Western printmaking papers are traditionally very heavy. Eastern printmaking papers by contrast, particularly those from Japan, are very fine and lightweight.
Like the term chine collé, the word collograph comes from the greek word collo meaning glue. It is a print made from a plate which is literally glued together; usually made of card and other textured materials. A wide variety of effects can be achieved without the need for acid or any other toxic chemicals.
Check out: Peter Wray.