From left to right, this is, in short, my process from making this plate. I paint out small areas 9 times in total, dunking it in acid each time, to achieve the grey tones i wanted. The final picture is what the copper plate looks like inked up before getting printed
Aquatint is a variety of etching widely used to achieve a broad range of tonal values. The process is called aquatint because finished prints often resemble watercolour drawings or wash drawings. The technique consists of exposing a copperplate to acid through a layer of melted granulated resin.The acid bites away the plate only in the interstices between the resin grains, leaving an evenly pitted surface that yields broad areas of tone when the grains are removed and the plate is printed. An infinite number of tones can be achieved by exposing various parts of the plate to acid baths of different strengths for different periods of time. Tones can also be altered by scraping and burnishing. Etched or engraved lines are often used with aquatint to achieve greater definition of form.
I use something called ground to block out the areas of the plate that I either dont want to be etched at all, or no longer need to be etched any longer. it is a process of meticulously panting out areas and dunking it for specifically calculated amount of time in the acid. the plates are then printed with an oil based ink in through the press.