I’m in a Printmaking class and we just recently did Intaglio. Since I don’t want to try to explain what Intaglio is I will quote Wikipedia which pretty much sums it up in a few sentences:

Normally, copper or zinc plates are used as a surface, and the incisions are created by etching, engraving, drypoint, aquatint or mezzotint. Collographs may also be printed as intaglio plates. To print an intaglio plate the surface is covered in thick ink and then rubbed with tarlatan cloth to remove most of the excess. The final smooth wipe is usually done by hand, sometimes with the aid of newspaper, leaving ink only in the incisions. A damp piece of paper is placed on top and the plate and paper are run through a printing press that, through pressure, transfers the ink from the recesses of the plate to the paper

Here is a piece I did from a photograph I took in New Orleans. It was a house that was basically flooded and got contaminated with oil.

Next I added “plate tone” and colored ink to the process to create the below image.. I think it’s 100% better looking. Plate tone is where you rub residual ink onto the plate and you can blend it with your hand to get the effect you want.
The next project was to use a different image and add “soft ground texture” to the plate. So I put salt and various peices of string on the plate.. the salt is lightly placed all over the plate… so in the image you can see speckled darkened dots. It took about 2 hours to add the texture and it didn’t show up as much as I wanted it to. You can see the text best in the wood stump. Then we did the same processes with color, except I used two colors: brown on top and reddish brown in the figure. This is a depiction of Jesus being beaten. It comes from a series of drawings I did in Drawing III a few semesters ago where I did a series of events of the crucifixion.
Some of the tones aren’t blended like I wanted.. specifically in the body… because when I did the “stage biting” where you create the tones, it only did distinct shades. The really good blending is done with rubbing the ink with my hand.

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